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Latest updates on the Progressive Era
3 out of 4 residents live in tenements!
Tenement houses are tall narrow apartments with many families who live there at once. "Rooms" were separated by sheets and there was one common bathroom; which was most often not a toilet at all but a whole or bucket. Surrounding areas were dirty and walls and streets were crumbling. Disease was very prominent in tenement houses. Most families couldn't even afford to live in a tenement house so they also sent their children to work in factories to bring home a few dollars a week.
Washington Gladden created the Social gospel which helped the poor because of his "Christian Law". In 1887 the Salvation Army was established; they focused on giving practical aid to the urban poor. One of the YMCA's services especially helped those living in tenement houses. They had low cost hotel rooms for those who needed to stay. Although the room was temporary it allowed tenement families to get back on there feet.
Child Labor: It's killing our children
Children of the working class almost never attended school but went to work in factories and coal mines to support their family. In 1900 1.7 million children were working outside the home. The work the children did would cripple their hands, and bend their backs. Major injuries also occurred. Children would be missing fingers or the more dangerous work would sometimes case death. Children were also most often very exhausted due to the long hours of work.
in 1904 the National Child Labor Committee was brought together to rid the issue of child labor. This caused states to set a certain age and work hour limit for children. Children is some states were also required to attended school instead of work. The Children's Bureau was also created by President Taft to help abolish and spread awareness about the issue of child labor.