“”By: Marina Bluvshteyn 813
During the late 1800s and the early 1900s there were many problems in
the world. People came together because of what they thought was right.
Some problems took more work than others to solve. Different methods were
used by reformers. Some reformers had more power than others and made
greater changes than others. Things like the 1901 New York State Tenement
House Law and the Pure Food and Drug Act were passed because people put
their feet down and said that they’ve had enough.
President Roosevelt was mostly responsible for the passing of the Pure
Food and Drug Act. This act prohibited the manufacturing, sale, or
transportation of mislabeled or contaminated food. Roosevelt had a
reputation for making laws, acts, and trusts. At first Congress dint want
to pass this act, but after a few compromises the act was passed.
Important people like the president weren’t the only people who helped pass
laws, and/or acts; ordinary people helped too. Women wrote letters to
Congress saying that it would be best if food was examined before sold or
shipped somewhere. Every voice counts.
Another law called the New York State Tenement House Law was passed in
1901. This law concerned most immigrants. It outlawed the construction of
dark and airless tenements. The law required new buildings to have better
ventilation, toilets, and running water. New York’s law became a model for
housing reform in other states. Many progressives also established
settlement houses patterned after Jane Adams’s Hull House. These
organizations worked in immigrant and poverty-stricken communities to
improve education, sanitation, and housing conditions. Progressives and
Muckrakers (Journalists) were mostly the cause of the passing of this law.
Muckrakers mostly focused their stories on poor people like immigrants;
they helped spread the word of the terrible housing conditions.
Progressives let the problems be known in other ways.
Even though the new law was passed there was still more work to be
done. In 1909 hundreds of reformers gathered at the first National
Conference of City Planning and Congestion. Supporters of city planning
proposed to get rid of unsafe housing, to develop more park land, and to
improve public transportation. After the planning was put to the test
death rates dropped and there was less pollution in the air and on the
ground. Soon urban Americans came to enjoy the highest standards of public
services in the world.
Many other laws, and acts were past after and before this law and act.
People with a lot of power weren’t the only ones who made things possible,
ordinary people did too. The New York State Tenement House Law was an
excellent law to pass. It helped save lives and made New York a cleaner
place to live in. The Pure Food and Drug Act was also an excellent idea,
food is now safer to eat. There are still problems in our world today, and
people do try to solve them, but it takes more than one person to