Throughout the time period that we have studied, I believe that there were three events that had the most significant impact on American life. Progressivism was the most important outcome from these years. Another major outcome is the Birth Control Movement. The Freedman’s Bureau is the last major result from this time period. Between 1865 and early 1920’s, the country changed from a rural nation to an urban one.
Progressivism is the reform movement of the 1900’s. It dealt with people from the middle class who weren’t immigrants who wanted to cure social problems. Women got involved in this because it was the only acceptable way for them to influence politics. There were many issues that had to be dealt with. The workplace safety was one of them. Workers worked more than 54 hours per week and the accident rate was very high. The solutions made for there problems changed the way American people worked and how long they had to. Now, there was an 8-hour work day, there was a law for minimum wage, there were safer working conditions, and there was an end to child labor. The Progressives believed that you could use science and technology to solve problems. They also believed that schools were to prepare students to function in society.
The Birth Control Movement was another significant change in American life. In 1873, the Comstock Law was passed. This law made it illegal to use the Postal Service system for any article or pamphlet intended for contraceptive information or abortion. Then, in the early 1900’s, Margaret Sanger began the Birth Control movement. In 1912, there was a column in the newspaper that was named, “What Every Girl Should Know.” In 1913, this column was outlawed. Then Sanger was convicted for distributing literature under the Comstock law. Soon, right after World War I, birth control was more widely accepted. This changed the lives of many people, especially people who were married but never planned to have kids. This also got people more aware of STDs and other diseases.
The Freedman’s Bureau was established in the War Department on March 3, 1865. The Bureau supervised all relief and aid for millions of Southerners left homeless and hungry by the war. It distributed food, clothing, served as an employment agency, set up hospitals and operated schools. It played a major role in providing education for African Americans. It also helped settle contract disputes between African American laborers and White planters.
The time period between 1865 and the early 1920s was very important to Americans. It changed America from a rural to an urban nation. There were three events that had the most impact on American life. They were Progressivism, the Birth Control Movement, and the Freedmen’s Bureau.
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