Franklin Delano Roosevelt

To what extent and in what ways did reformers in United States promote social changes which benefited a majority of Americans during the so-called Progressive Era?
In writing your answer, use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1900-1920.

Document A
Source: “Concerning Three Articles in this Number of McClures,” Editorial in McClure’s, 1904.
“The Shame of Minneapolis” could well have served for the current chapter of Miss Tarbell’s History of Standard Oil. . . . Miss Tarbell has our capitalists conspiring among themselves deliberately, shrewdly, upon legal advice, to break the law so far as it restrained them, and to misuse it to restrain others who were in their way. . . . In “The shame of Minneapolis” we see the administration of a city employing criminals to commit crimes for the profit of the elected officials, while the citizens – Americans of good stock and more than average culture, and honest, healthy Scandinavians – stood by complacent and not alarmed.
We all are doing our worst and making the public pay. The public is the people. We forget that we all are the people; that while each of us in his group can shove off on the rest of the bill of to-day, the debt is only postponed; the rest are passing it on back to us. And in the end the sum total of the debt will be our liberty.

Document B
Source: Lincoln Steffens, The Shame of the Cities, 1904.
The honest citizens of Philadelphia have no more rights at the polls than the negroes down South. Nor do they fight very hard for this basic privilege. . . . If you remind the average Philadelphian that he is in the same position, he will look startled, then say, “That’s so, that’s literally true, only I never thought of it in just that way.” And it is literally true.
The [political] machine controls the whole process of voting, and practices fraud at every stage. . . . The assessor pads the list with the names of dead dogs, children, and non-existent persons.
The machine controls the election officers, often choosing them from among fraudulent names; and when no one appears to serve, assigning the heeler ready for the expected vacancy.

Sample Solution