Industrialization brought great change to the United States. These changes however, are not limited to the good, helpful ones only. These changes also resulted to various problems in the society, including politics and economics. In order to address these problems, the nation entered a period of reform known as the Progressive Era. With the efforts of various people from different levels of the society, reforms were sought in order to solve the economic, political, social, and moral problems that we are having.
As America nears the turn-of-the century, Progressive era reformers known to many as progressives, focused on solving the social problems through reforms in the government and in the people. Before we delve deeper into these social reforms as means to solve the prevailing social problems, we could first look at what caused these problems. At that time, Industrialization was at its peak, and because of that, more and more people took a chance at improving their lives to a point where they have to compete with other people to survive.
This could be linked to the concept of Social Darwinism, wherein competition drives our societies to evolve (ThinkQuest). The social problems came as a result of the evolution of society, giving birth to corruption, poverty, crimes, and a lot more. In order to solve these problems, progressive reformers seek to change the society. Some people chose to step-up and lead others to choose a path to social reform. One prominent social reformer is Jane Addams, a pioneering social worker who founded the settlement house movement by establishing the Hull House (Blum).
These settlement houses provided help for young people coming out of foster care, offering them independent living programs. These may be considered by others as small, futile steps in solving the social problems. However, if we combine this with other small steps by other social reformers, the change brought about by the progressives is highly considerable. Other notable social reform steps were taken by Muckrakers, the press people who risked their lives and reputation in order to investigate and expose corruption to the people of America (Caswell).
The social problems encountered by the United States by the turn of century could be considered as a big blow to the American society back then. However, with the help of independent organizations and with the efforts of pioneering social workers and reformers, the American society back then was given an overhaul, with the help of small independent reforms set out all throughout the country.
Blum, Elizabeth D. “Settlement House Movement”. 2007. May 20 2009. <http://www. pollutionissues. com/Re-Sy/Settlement-House-Movement. html>. Caswell, Thomas C. “Progressive Era Reform”. 2001. New York State High School Regents Exam Prep Center. May 20 2009. <http://www. regentsprep. org/Regents/ushisgov/themes/reform/progressive. htm>. ThinkQuest. “Social Darwinism”. 2000. ThinkQuest. May 20 2009. <http://library. thinkquest. org/C004367/eh4. shtml>.