The Origins of the Progressive Spirit in America

Review Questions

Ida Tarbell wrote publicly about

  1. the need for better housing in rural America
  2. the sinister business practices of Standard Oil
  3. the need for a national temperance movement
  4. the women’s suffrage cause in the American West



Which of the following was not a key area of focus for the Progressives?

  1. land reform
  2. democracy
  3. business regulation
  4. social justice



How did muckrakers help initiate the Progressive Era?


The muckrakers played a pivotal role in initiating the Progressive Era, because they spurred everyday Americans to action. Unlike earlier sensationalist journalists, the muckrakers told their stories with the explicit goal of galvanizing their readers and encouraging them to take steps to address the issues. With photographs and descriptions of real-life scenarios of which many Americans were unaware, the muckrakers brought the tribulations of child factory workers, the urban poor, and others into the living rooms of the middle class.