The Progressive Movement: Stock Market Crash

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Midterm: The Progressive Movement / Stock Market Crash (1929)
The Progressive Movement was a time of reform that began in the late 19th century and continued through the early decades of the 20th century. During this time in American history, well-known intellectuals and social reformers starting asking cultural questions as well as political and economic questions. The questions that these intellectuals and social reformers were trying to address were brought about due to the rapid changes of the Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism growth in America. Progressives, a name for people that advocated or implemented social reform or new, liberal ideas, had the belief that the changes that were happening signified the end of the old era
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Upton Sinclair was an author, journalist and activist in the 1900’s. His involvement with socialism prompted him to write about the struggles of the working class in the meat-packing industry. This eventually led to his best-selling novel The Jungle (1906). Sinclair gained insight into the meat-packing industry when he took residence with the workers in Chicago. The Jungle told the tale of an immigrant family who came to America in hopes of living the American Dream but instead found themselves in deplorable working conditions and crippling poverty (Keene, 552). Sinclair’s call for action prompted the public to accept the idea that socialism was the answer to end the exploitation of the workers. His detailed description of the “rotten meat, workers’ fingers, and rat excrement being tossed into the hopper to produce that Americans enjoyed each morning for breakfast” prompted a federal investigation into the matter, confirming what Sinclair had described (Keene, 552). Sinclair’s novel sparked a public outcry over the safety of the meat that American’s were consuming. The result was the passing of The Meat Inspection Act (1906) and the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906). These two acts put sanitary standards in place for the meat-packing industry, gave federal inspectors authority to condemn meat that was dangerous for consumption, and fines for mislabeled food or medicine …show more content…
Banks were feeling the impact of the depression as well, nearly half of the banks in the country were failing. The government had to find a way to help save the country from drowning. President Herbert Hoover rejected the capitalist’s suggestions of keeping the trend of the government playing a small role in the economy. He wanted the government to intervene “fostering a spirit of teamwork that encouraged Americans to work together as a nation as they weathered the economic downturn” (Keene, 659). Hoover founded government agencies, encouraged harmony among the labor force, supported aid for public works projects, and improved relations between government and businesses. Hoover focused on relief efforts that would be implemented indirectly from individual states and the private

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