This week we examined the Progressive Era – an era of reform that responded to the abuses of industrialization. Through a number of diverse reforms, the Progressives expanded the power of government over the free-market economy and over the lives of individuals in order to correct, what they saw as, a number of injustices (ex: monopolies and trusts, poverty, poor working conditions, alcohol abuse, etc.)
On Monday, we read an excerpt of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, an example of muckraking literature that exposed the unsanitary conditions and lack of regulation in the meat industry. As Sinclair later said, “I aimed for the public’s heart but instead hit them in the stomach” due to his graphic account of how sausage was made.
On Tuesday we researched the different Progressive Era reforms out of our textbook – identifying which reforms went with which problems.
On Wednesday, we analyzed some primary sources to reinforce the Progressive Era reforms that we researched on Tuesday.
On Thursday, we watched a short documentary on Jacob Riis, another muckraker, who chronicled the problem of urban poverty and tenement housing in “How the Other Half Lives” – a collection of photographs. We also summarized what we learned from the Progressive Era (what big ideas we took away from it)
On Friday, we began the Roaring Twenties – be sure to watch this flipped lecture as an introduction to this era.