Muckrakers and their Impact on 20th Century Progressivism

  • Rheaa Nair
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  • Rheaa Nair

    Student at NMIMS Kirit P. Mehta School of Law, India

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The progressive era in US history began in the early 1900s, and was a period of rapid socio-economic and technological reforms. This period saw expansion of businesses as well as a hope to make America a more democratic place. During this time there emerged a group of journalists tagged as the Muckrakers. Using their first amendment right to free speech, these journalists were on a mission to uncover the corrupt practices prevalent in America at the time. They mostly wrote for McClure’s magazine and included; Jacob Riis, Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, and Lincoln Steffens, amongst others. They gambled their reputation to write about the injustices they observed. The reason for their success at the time is partly due to the coming of Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive president who endorsed these journalists and is even credited with coming up with the term ‘muckraker’. But by the 1910s, the atmosphere of America was no longer conducive to the survival of the muckrakers. The world war changed American feelings towards enterprises and the government. The traces of these journalists were reduced, but they left behind a legacy of American legislative changes.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 6, Page 1293 - 1301


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