Progressivism and sweatshops were a big deal as


Progressivism is term for a wide range of moral, social, political and economic reforms in the United States. Efforts to ban the sale of alcohol and regulate child labor and sweatshops were a big deal as well as bust or regulate trusts. The progressive movement was also a response to industrialization, progressive reformers had looked to regulate private industry, strengthen protections for workers and consumers, expose corruption in both government and big business, and generally improve society. Though industrialization in the United States raised standards of living for many, it had a dark side. Large companies have always used some morally wrong business practices aimed at eliminating competition and increasing profits, journalists were writing this about ruthless business practice of businessmen. Progressives wanted to fix this malpractice and so they enacted minimum wage laws for women workers, restricted child labor, and improved factory regulation so that these men had less control over how they treat their employees because if it was down to the safety of expendable workers or money they would always choose the money. Though Progressives did many good things during this period, they also promoted discrimination and chose to support intolerant ideas. During the Wilson administration there was a turn up of the Ku Klux Klan and with that there was a racist backlash against the idea of African Americans making economic and political gains in the post-Reconstruction period after Industrialization. On top of that their view of human nature as capable of being engineered and manipulated introduces the idea of Eugenics, and so many people who held the Progressive view then advocated selective breeding. Eugenics was considered “the science of better breeding” and aimed to improve the genetic quality of the human population through policies that would encourage the more “desirable” elements of society to have more children while preventing lower classes, ethnic minorities, recent immigrants, the mentally ill, and the developmentally disabled all occupied from reproducing. Eugenics was based on a racial and class hierarchy that placed white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants at the top and everyone else on the lower rungs on this hierarchy. In 1907, the United States became the first country to pass a compulsory sterilization law. This panned out o that over 60,000 American men and women were forcibly sterilized to prevent them from having children, thankfully due to bad press of the genocidal policies of Nazi Germany ultimately discredited the “science” of eugenics.

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