Friday, 1 July 2011

proggressive movements

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Throughout the history of the United States there have been many reform movements. These reform movements helped to make business, politics, and the environment better. The antitrust reform, Temperance movement, and the women’s suffrage movement were a few of the major reforms that helped shaped the society we live in today.

The antitrust reform was a major reform during the late 1th and early 0th century as it helped to make sure a business was not too powerful. Before 180 the government’s attitude on the businesses was laissez faire; they did not get into to it, nor did they want to get into it. Monopolies were a huge problem; between the monopolies of the oil industry, railroad industry, coal industry, and the bank many American citizens were being exploited as monopolies make prices higher and quality lower. A major supporter of the antitrust reform was Frank Norris the author of The Octopus, this novel took the problem of the monopoly of the railroad industry and brought it to the public. Other supporters were the laborers, as they did not get high wages because of these monopolies; the laborers formed unions and went on strike. Some laws were passed in order to control the amount a business man could hold; one of these laws was the Sherman antitrust act. The Sherman antitrust act was only an underlying start to getting rid of monopolies therefore the Clayton antitrust act was passed; this act restated the original goals of the Sherman antitrust act, but made it stronger and more successful. Another law that was passed was the Hepburn Act; this act authorized the Interstate Commerce Commission to set railroad rates and to regulate other companies engaged in interstate commerce.

The temperance movement was another major reform in 1th century. Many problems arose because of alcoholism such as violence. Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There by T.S. Arthur written in 1854 was a novel about pro-temperance. Ministers, buisnessmen, and African Americans were strong supporters of the temperance movement. Ministers used ideas of the remperance movements in their sermans to persuade people to quit drinking, Businessmen saw that temperance was a good form of discipline in the workforce, and African Americans held their own types of temperance rallies. The 18th amendment banned the manufacture, sale, and importation of alohol. By the mid 1th century alcohol consumption decreased.

The absense of womens suffrage in the early 0th century was a major problem that needed to be reformed. Women worked as much as men but did not have equal rights of them, and the government was not going to be easily swayed into changing that. Some government officials felt that the ballot in the hands of a women was unsafe. The National American Woman Suffrage Association was founded in 180, this froup was a major leader in the suffrage movement. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady were early presidents of this froup, they helped to push the suffrage movement forward by protesting locally by getting state legislatures to grant women the right to vote. Alice Paul broke away from the NAWSA and formed the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage which helped to get the 1th amendment passed. The 1th amendment was the amendment that all suffragists were waiting for, this amendment put to ballot in the hands of women.

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Reform movements have always been a major aspect of American society, as the US is open to many suggestions. Reform movements help to shape this American society by making buisnesses, politics, and the enviornment better. Monopolies were resolved by the antitrust reforms, Alcoholism was temperarily resolved with the Temperance movement, and Womens rights were resolved by the 1th amendent.

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