The muckrakers and reformers of the Progressive Era were part of an American tradition. And like most of their predecessors and successors, they met with only partial success. You might want to take this opportunity to explore exactly why. Were Progressives limited by barriers within the economic and social system? Or were they inhibited by the limitations of their own vision for reform?
Similarly we encourage you to explore the question of tactics with your students, and we have included some activities that will help you do so. How is reform best advanced? Through the confrontational tactics of Carry A. Nation or the accommodating approach of Jane Addams? Were the shocking images of urban destitution taken by Jacob Riis most helpful to the reformers’ cause, or were the ennobling portraits of industrial workers and immigrants taken by Lewis Hine?