Stockman's History Extravaganza

Social Reform

What We Are Covering Today

Progressives, Temperance, Muckrakers, Suffrage's and Presidents


As the 1800's came to a close, only a handful of people enjoyed wealth and prosperity.

Immigrants and poor laborers continued to live and work under harsh conditions.

Meanwhile the government was full of corruption at all levels.

Many citizens and governmental officials demanded reforms in government, business and society in general. The turn of the century marked the beginning of the Progressive Movement. This was a time of political, social and economic change in the U.S.

The Muckrackers

A number of leading intellectuals and writers came on the scene during the progressive period. Many of these writers wrote stories exposing abuse in government and big business.

President Theodore Roosevelt labeled these journalists the “Muckrakers” Among the Muckrakers were a number of respected writers, Lincoln Steffens exposed political corruption in St. Louis and other cities. Ida Tarbell revealed the abuses of the standard Oil trust. Perhaps the most famous was Upton Sinclair, who published a novel called the Jungle in 1906. It uncovered the truth about U.S. meat packing industry and led to the creation of the FDA.

Temper! Temper!

During the Progressive Period, momentum continued to grow for the temperance movement. This was a movement that originally wanted to limit and eventually advocated eliminating alcohol.

Ratified in 1919, the 18th amendment prohibited the making, selling, or transporting of any alcoholic beverage in the U.S. Referred to as Prohibition, this amendment later proved to be a failure and was repealed.

Suffering Suffrages

Ever since the Seneca falls Convention of 1848, women had demanded suffrage.

By the 1870s, Susan B. Anthony was the most recognized leader of this movement.

Along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others, Anthony helped established the NAWSA which she led until 1900.

Finally in 1920, Congress passed the 19th amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. At last, women had the right to vote.


Ms. Stockman 2013