The Progressive Era occurred in the United States from 1900 to 1920. Prior to this particular time period was the Gilded Age when presidents such as Grant, Hayes, and Tilden not only failed to take appropriate political action but also proved to be somewhat detrimental figures for their country. Conversely, in the Progressive Era, strong presidents Roosevelt and Wilson took charge in order to achieve their goals. Government powers and reform groups focused on widespread concerns that regarded social injustice and aided economic progress on local, state, and national levels. Reformers in this era detected the harmful effects of the industrial revolution and sought to resolve controversy regarding women's rights, child labor, monopolies, and other important issues of the time. In order for reformers to gain support and inform the public of the brutality of industrial life they used books, detailed magazine articles, pictures, and exploiting statistics. This era was mostly prominent in urban areas, cities, and the Northeast due to large populations of immigrants, factories, and working families. Reformer success included direct voting, economic trusts and women's suffrage; however, failure ultimately outweighed these achievements due to racism, decreased voting, and lack of federal government involvement.
Throughout the early 20th century government, officials and reform workers were rewarded with small successes. During President Roosevelt's term, the awful conditions of the meatpacking industry were brought to his attention. The Neill-Reynolds Report and Upton Sinclair's The Jungle gave insight about the disgusting conditions where meat was processed and diseases were picked up, which led Roosevelt to inspect of the industry and pass the Meat Inspection Act in 1906. The bill benefited the condition and the profit of the industry but also led to the Pure Food and Drug Act, providing another success.