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Muckrakers And Their Role In The Progressive Era

Referencing Styles : Harvard | Pages : 1

Muckrakers

Muckrakers were inquiring reporters and writers throughout the Progressive era (1890–1920) World Health Organization wrote about corruption and injustices to bring forth changes in society. Publishing books and articles in magazines like McClure's and Cosmopolitan, journalists like writer, Jacob Riis, Ida Wells, United Nations agency Tarbell, Florence Kelley, Ray Stannard Baker, journalist, and John Spargo risked their lives and livelihoods to jot down stories regarding the terrible, hidden conditions of the poor and helpless, and to focus on the corruption of politicians and flush businessmen.

The progressive president Chief Executive in his 1906 speech “The Man with the Muck Rake” coined the term “muckraker”. It stated a passage in John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" that describes a person UN agency raked muck (soil, dirt, manure, and vegetal matter) for a living instead of raising his eyes to heaven. Even if Roosevelt was celebrated for serving to introduce various Progressive reforms, he saw the foremost enthusiastic members of the exposure press as going too so much, particularly once writing concerning political and large business corruption. He wrote:

Now, it is terribly necessary that we must always not flinch from seeing what is vile and degrading. There is filth on the ground, and it should be scraped up with the muck rake; and there are times and places wherever this service is that the most required of all the services, which will be performed. however the person UN agency ne'er will anything, UN agency ne'er thinks or speaks or writes, save of his feats with the muck rake, apace becomes, not a facilitate however one in every of the foremost potent forces for evil.

Despite Roosevelt's efforts, several of the crusading journalists embraced the term "muckrakers" and so forced the country to create changes to ease the things they reported. These illustrious muckrakers of their day helped expose problems and corruption in America between 1890 and therefore the beginning of World War I.

Role in the Progressive Era

Let us now look at a few of the most influential muckrakers of the Progressive Era that you should remember.

In 1902, urban political machines came under fire by the muckrakers. Lincoln Steffens launched attacks against corrupt government connections with big businesses in ''The Shame of the Cities,'' a series of articles in McClure's magazine. Steffens urged the American people to save their cities from corrupt politicians and for the people to take back government for themselves. His work appeared as a book, shame of the cities, published in 1904. After a four-year stint in Paris writing for Scribner's Magazine, Tarbell returned to the United States and accepted a job at McClure's. One of her first assignments was to investigate the business practices of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil. Her exposés documenting Rockefeller's aggressive and illegal business methods appeared first as a series of articles in McClure's, and then as a book, "The History of the Standard Oil Company" in 1904.

Upton Sinclair (1878–1968) was born into relative poverty in New York, although his grandparents were wealthy. As a result, he was very well educated and began writing boys' stories at the age of 16, and later wrote several serious novels, none of which were successful. In 1903, however, he became a Socialist and traveled to Chicago to gather information about the meatpacking industry. His resulting novel, "The Jungle," gave a wholly unsavory look at abysmal working conditions and contaminated and rotting meat. His book became an instant bestseller and, although it did not have much impact on the plight of the workers, it led to the passage of the country's first food safety legislation, the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. 

John Spargo (1876–1966) was a Cornish man who was trained as a stonecutter. He became a socialist in the 1880s, and wrote and lectured about working conditions in England as a member of the nascent Labour Party. He emigrated to the United States in 1901 and became active in the Socialist party, lecturing and writing articles; he published the first full-length biography of Karl Marx in 1910. Spargo's investigative report on the terrible conditions of child labor in the United States called "The Bitter Cry of Children" was published in 1906. While many were fighting against child labor in America, Spargo's book was the most widely read and most influential as it detailed the dangerous working condition of boys in coal mines.

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