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Child Labor and the Progressive Era: 1900-1920

            During the Progressive Era from 1900 to 1920, the reformers and the federal government were pretty successful in bringing reforms at the national level. This reform movement had the most influential reformers and worked closely with the federal government.Obviously not every single reform of the movement made significant gains, the regulation of corporations, the fight against child labor and the rights of women were three movements that were particularly aided by the government, pushed achieving success.
             For the first time in American history the US government was willing to try and work with public complaints towards the regulation of American corporations. This movement was pushed by new journalists who were known as muckrakers. Among these muckrakers was Henry Lloyd, who exposed the corruption of the powerful Standard Oil company. Other reformers, similar to Henry Lloyd, exposed the corruption of these companies to a large audience of citizens and furthermore put the politicians under great stress to serve the interests of the public in order to keep their popularity. Theodore Roosevelt was the first president to defend the public against the powerful companies by participating in trust busting. The political cartoon (document A) shows Roosevelt standing on Bear that represented, "bad trusts," which he had just hunted and killed. Roosevelt was the first president to enforce the Sherman Antitrust Act. Trust busting was continued by Taft, Roosevelt's successor, and was taken further by Wilson.
             Wilson's administration past the Clayton Antitrust Act which was similar to the Sherman Antitrust Act, but as stated in document E, "[forbid] the antitrust Acts [from being] construed to forbid the existence and operation of labor unions." These governmental changes, powered by the influential reformers of the time shows the success for progressivism.
             The fight against child labor was another area of progressivism that got good response from federal politicians.

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