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HIST 102 Survey of American History II M04 Essay 2- America’s Social Problems

America’s Social Problems

America like any other nation experienced social problems within itself and among those neighboring them during the past. The solutions to the problems were received with mixed reactions by the parties that were involved in either way of dealing with the problems. However, conflicts could arise during the process when scholars were offering solutions to social issues. Some of the issues could have been solved but it required...

a group of people whose powers and freedom have been suppressed by the male-dominated society. Women were not allowed to vote in America before the nineteenth amendment (Braeman, and Tompkins 230). This issue made it difficult for women to champion social rights such as those of women and children. Americans could have solutions for their social issues since most of the states in west America had given total voting rights to women.

The social ills of the American working class had been addressed by various social reformers. They included Frances Keller, a lawyer who trained herself on matters reforms with an idea that poverty and social inequalities could have been eliminated by efficient expertise and the moral vision. The team that contained the reformers was known as muckrakers. The team was made up of Jacob Riis, the photographer, Upton Sinclair who was the novelist, Ida Tarbell, and Steffens who were both journalists (Braeman, and Tompkins 218). They focused on championing the rights of the people who worked mostly in urban areas in terms of their working and living conditions. Industrialization and urbanization had just started and most of the people had settled in towns, this led to poor living conditions which also included unscrupulous working situations.

Muckrakers are active in a progressive era that had most of the political and social reforms. The reforms had also been ignited by the increased levels of corruption in the government through taking down the corrupt officials in office. The social reforms also included women’s suffrage which aimed at promoting female votes which led to constitutional change. The journalists who were referred to as ‘muckrakers’ relied on their media in exposing the social ills in the society such as corporate and political corruption (Halsall 1). They used muckraking magazines which included McClure that raised public awareness on unsafe working conditions, social injustices such as child labor and urban poverty.

The reformers' actions were evident when the changes had been implemented especially in the constitution which included women as the voters, unlike in the eighteenth century. Child labor was also abolished alongside the improvement of working conditions and the settlement in urban areas. The wellness of the United States is also attributed to the contributions of powerful politicians at that time such as Theodore Roosevelt participating as stakeholders in reforms (Riis, and Leviatin 154). The reforms that had been championed by the muckrakers also ensured that the government improved on the delivery of their services to the citizens such as protecting and improving their living standards alongside offering financial support to the needy.

Work Cited

Braeman, John, and E. Beverly Tompkins. "Anti-Imperialism In The United States: The Great Debate, 1890-1920". American Quarterly, vol 23, no. 3, 1971, p. 345. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/2711839.

Halsall, Paul. "Internet History Sourcebooks". Sourcebooks.Fordham.Edu, 1996,

Riis, Jacob A, and David Leviatin. How The Other Half Lives. Bedford/Saint Martin's, 2010, p. 165.

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