Table of Contents Overview The Gilded Age and the first years of the twentieth century were a time of great social change and economic growth in the United States. Roughly spanning the years between Reconstruction and the dawn of the new century, the Gilded Age saw rapid industrialization, urbanization, the construction of great transcontinental railroads, innovations in science and technology, and the rise of big business.
Women Reformers in the Progressive Era Judith McDonough Looking at women activists of the Progressive Era can provide insights into both the problems of the period and the emerging role of women in public life. As the country moved into the twentieth century, society had to confront the effects of industrialization, the growing concentration of economic power, urbanization, and a great wave of immigration.
These dramatic changes produced fears that traditional values were being undermined by the influence of wealth at the top and radicalism at the bottom. The desire to modify the harsher aspects of industrialization and to make government more responsive to the people resulted in the Progressive Movement.
The growth of big business opened new fields for women, such as saleswoman and clerk, as well as bringing more women into the factory system.
Mass production introduced household conveniences, which allowed more leisure time for middle class women. Educational opportunities expanded and a new generation of college graduates sought fulfillment in the world outside the home. However, women often found their efforts thwarted by a male-dominated society and a Victorian view of the female role.
In most states, women could not vote, and in some states married women could not sign contracts without the consent of their husbands.
As women tried to address the social problems of the day, they had to contend with the rather entrenched view that women were intellectually and emotionally inferior to men. The following sections depict how women organized to support social reform and to redefine the role of women at the last turn of the century.
Settlement House Workers Many women resented the restraints society placed on them. Jane Addams, founder of Hull House in Chicago, typified the attitudes of the first group of college-educated women. Since family structures limited their freedom, many of these ambitious and socially-conscious women chose to defer marriage or remain single.
Hull House provided an opportunity for these women to achieve personal satisfaction. Located in the center of an immigrant neighborhood, Hull House provided many services to the surrounding community. Its social workers offered classes and operated a gymnasium, playground, theater, and cooperative boarding house.
Many women worked at Hull House, some remaining for several years, others staying a few years before leaving to get married. Similar communities, mostly run by women, sprang up all over the country. Living in urban, immigrant communities they came to realize that the complex problems they were dealing with transcended local solutions.
They became social reformers and championed legislation to end child labor, improve working conditions, address the problems of the cities, and support immigrants. Hull House became a center where reformers and radicals of every persuasion went to discuss their ideas. Labor agitators, anarchists and socialists visited Hull House, and free expression made it one of the intellectual centers of the Progressive Era.
She subsequently became the first factory inspector in the state. The League included both working class and middle class women who supported unionization. Julia Lathrop campaigned against child labor and pushed for a government agency to deal with the matter.
Lathrop became its first administrator and filled her staff with graduates of Hull House. She supported an independent nursing profession and a public health service.
They finally achieved their goal with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in Nevertheless, the movement remained largely segregated because white women feared alienating the South and many shared the prejudicial attitudes of the time. Wells-Barnett founded the first African American women suffrage organization, and both she and Terrell worked hard to gain support for the amendment.
Catt was president fromwhen she resigned to care for her ill husband. Anna Howard Shaw, an ordained Methodist minister and gifted orator, took over from Although Shaw worked hard, she was not an efficient administrator, and the NAWSA lost momentum during her term of office.
The movement was revitalized through formation of the Congressional Union in Alice Paul and Lucy Burns spearheaded the change, which was influenced by the more radical methods of the British suffrage movement.
The new suffragettes picketed the White House and chained themselves to fences. Arrested for their actions, some protested by going on hunger strikes and suffered the ordeal of forced feeding as a result.
Their tactics and the resulting publicity brought sympathy and renewed interest in the movement.
Opponents of the amendment were highly organized and well financed. Businessmen, Southern congressmen, Catholic clergymen and some upper class women were among the groups most strongly opposed. When the amendment came to a vote in the House of Representatives ineveryone knew it would be close.
Working as a nurse in the Lower East Side of New York, Sanger witnessed the pain of botched abortions and the suffering associated with unwanted pregnancies.Second Industrial Revolution.
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Jan 21, · A cool video regarding child labour during the American Industrial Revolution created by a pretty cool chick. The early 20th century was an era of business expansion and progressive reform in the United States.
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Updated world stock indexes. Get an overview of major world indexes, current values and stock market data. The s (pronounced "nineteen-sixties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on 1 January , and ended on 31 December The term "s" also refers to an era more often called the Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends around the vetconnexx.com "cultural decade" is more loosely defined .