The decades in history where the progressives and the government took up goals that would end the abuse of power, reforming social institutions, monopoly, inefficiency, social injustice, better living and labor conditions was called the Progressive Era. It was also to allow the citizens of the United States to take part in their government. These people were known as the progressives. The progressives consisted mostly of middle-class men and women. The problems the progressives set out to solve were not all accomplished, but everything they did affected the United States in every, good, aspect. Ignorance was the number one enemy for progressivism. .
The beginning of the Progressive Era is blamed on the muckrakers. These muckrakers, whom President Roosevelt named, were writers like Jacob Riis, Lincoln Steffens, and Ida Tarbell who wrote long, detailed articles and entire books exposing fraud, waste, corruption and other evils in government, business and social conditions, such as How the Other Half Lives. With this article Jacob A. Riis wanted to show how the New York Slums lived in an area.
where it was very easy to catch a disease, and where they had to share restrooms with strangers. Also, David G. Phillips shocked the United States in 1906 with an article entitled The Treason of the Senate. He roughly stated that .
seventy-five of ninety senators did not represent the people but the trusts and railroads. The abuses of child labor were made visible with John Spargo's article The Bitter Cry of the Children. .
Theodore Roosevelt set out to end trusts. He initiated forty suits against monopoly. Theodore Roosevelt had a "Square Deal" to help out laborers. It consisted mainly of consumer protection and conservation of natural resources. In 1906, Roosevelt had Congress pass the Meat Inspection Act, to have all meat inspected from the beginning of the process, this was to protect the consumers.