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Progressives: Individuals Aspiring for Change

Between Native and Mexican Americans being pressured, child labor, women inequality, and political corruption, American society of the late 1800s and early 1900s were desperate for change. Furthermore, industrialization, urbanization, and immigration were well underway, bringing countless benefits and a similar number of challenging social problems. Without concerned American citizens and their sacrifices, necessary reforms would be impossible to bring social justice to those in need and stop corrupt practices. Progressives, including muckrakers, activists, and reformers, dramatized the need for change. They promoted laws to improve people’s lives and to impact government and protested against inequality, which led to a lasting effect on American society.

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While journalists and novelists were escalating an already bad situation, Jane Addams contributed greatly to the settlement house movement. It was the movement focused on improving the lives of poor people in the cities. Addams opened Hull House in Chicago for children’s and adults’ education to strengthen their social and economic power. Hull House was so successful that it set an example for opening other settlement houses across the country. Addams became an inspirational figure for educated women and aspired to help the urban poor.

As support for Progressivism gradually increased, the women’s suffrage movement was gaining more and more followers. Carrie Chapman Catt, who studied law and became school superintendent, was a skilled orator. She traveled the country promoting National American Woman Suffrage Association. Additionally, Catt introduced several plans to expand the women’s movement and win against oppressing political forces. Catt gained the backing of women all over the US, which was essential for the cause.

American society of the late 1800s and early 1900s was ridden with troubles. Indeed, it has been time when democracy standards that surprise no one today have been fought for by strong individuals such as Jane Addams, Carrie Chapman Catt, or other countless contributors. These people led Progressive Movement, gathering supporters and raising awareness of everyone across the US. Addams’ and Catt’s efforts are perfect examples of activities that affect change in the country. Those times show us that only together society can achieve lasting results through the contribution of every individual, no matter how small these contributions may be.

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