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The Progressive Era, 1890-1920
Guide: Reforming Government

These resources explain how progressives attempted to make legislative changes to protect consumers from unsafe medicine and food. Use these resources to help students understand the progressive movement's tactics and goals as they relate to consumer products. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Labor unions developed as social and political movements
  • Rural and urban areas have distinct needs that shape political and economic concerns
  • Racial and ethnic groups have fought to obtain civil rights and liberties
  • Government accountability relies on a politically engaged populace
  • Society's idea of morality changes over time
  • A balance between public safety and economic growth is desirable
  • A nation's diplomatic powers rest in its ability to have a foreign presence
  • There are multiple factors that a nation must consider when deciding to go to war
  • The U.S. has gone through periods where it feels it is in its best interest to remain detached from certain global events
  • Negotiating a peace involves compromises and consensus and can extend well beyond the end of hostilities

Key Questions

  • Who were the muckrakers and what were they known for?
  • What concerns did muckrakers have regarding governmental reforms?
  • Evaluate the reforms passed regarding government. How effective do you think the muckrakers were in enacting change?


  1. Overview: Reforming Government
  2. Topic Center Overview: The Progressive Era, 1890–1920
  3. Visuals: Reforming Government (Visual)
  4. Outline: Outline
  5. Lesson: Introduction
  6. Reference Articles: muckraker movement
  7. Reference Articles: progressive movement
  8. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Political cartoon: Election of 1912
  9. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Political cartoon: Tammany Hall
  10. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Robber Barons
  11. Political, Government & Court Documents: Steffens, Lincoln: The Shame of the Cities (1906)
  12. Speeches: Roosevelt, Theodore: Muckrakers speech (1906)

MLA Citation

"Reforming Government." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2153039. Accessed 25 Aug. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2153039

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