(Download full-sized image here.)
Cartoons Vol. 3, No. 4
Progressivism was a multifaceted effort by middle-class Americans to reform their country’s politics, economy, and society. Progressive reformers were active first at the local and state and then the national level. Their causes included public health, city planning, the prohibition of alcohol, the income tax, the regulation of big business, conservation, primary elections, and the popular election of United States senators, among others.
One of the most prevalent of the Progressive reforms was to end child exploitation in the workplace. Industrialization had limited the economic opportunity of working in the home, so children who had to work to help support the family were forced to find outside employment. Many of these jobs were either dangerous or very difficult, and paid poorly.