Muckrakers within the Progressive Era

  • Thomas Nast's Campaign Against Boss Tweed

    Thomas Nast's Campaign Against Boss Tweed
    Corrupt politican, "Boss Tweed," bought elections and swindle millions of dollars from the government through a "political machine" known as Tammany Hall. Beginning in 1869, a political cartoonist, Nast, began publishing a series of deogratory cartoons again "Boss Tweed" and his Tammany Hall. These cartoons allowed the public to be exposed to the reality of Tweed and his Tammany Hall. Nast began the relationship between writers and readers, which is the foundation of muckraking.
  • Boss Tweed's Downfall

    Boss Tweed's Downfall
    Through Thomas Nast's series of political cartoons, the public pressured government officials to react to Tweed's corruption. A committee was formed, called the Executive Committee of CItizens and Taxpayers for Financial Reform of the City, and placed Boss Tweed on trial for political corruption in January of 1873. The trial led to Tweed being put behind bars for the rest of his life and was one of the first success for muckrakers.
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    Collier's Magazine

    The magazine was founded by Irish immigrant, Peter F. Collier, and was established to be a pioneer for investigative journalism. During the Progressive Era, the magazine had muckrakers such as Upton Sinclair and Ida Tarbell write about issues ranging from child labor laws to Women's Suffrage.
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    Munsey's Magazine

    Munsey's Magazine was founded in 1889 and became an important magazine for muckrakers to publish their articles. Considered to be the first mass-market magazine, it was able to reach out to the middle and working class through it low prices and mass circulation.
  • Jacob Riis' "How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York"

    Jacob Riis' "How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York"
    Jacob Riis published a series of photographs and essays about the slums of New York City in 1890. The book launched Riis' career as a muckraker and a public spokesperson for sanitation reform. Through Riis' work as a muckraker, the Drexel Committee of New York City held an investigation of unsafe tenements within the city. Riis contributed to the growing positive image of muckrakers through his books and public speeches.
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    McClure's Magazine

    McClure's Magazine was a monthly periodical magazine that featured literary and political content. The magazine is contributed with cultivating muckraking journalism and featured many of the major muckrakers, including Lincoln Steffens and Ida Tarbell. The magazine was important to the muckraking movement because it provided a safe haven for muckraking journalism and was accessable to the American public.
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    Yellow Journalism

    In contrast to muckraking, "yellow journalism" emerged from major newspapers, such as Pultizer's New York World and Hearst's New York Journal. "Yellow journalism" was a type of journalism that focused on entertaining the reader rather than reporting the facts and was known for exaggerating the facts, fabricating truths, and outright lies. This type of journalism drove many writers such as, Charles Edward Russell, who strove to expose the realities of African Americans, to muckraking journalism.
  • Lincoln Steffens' "The Shame of Cities" is Published

    Lincoln Steffens' "The Shame of Cities" is Published
    Steffens utilized the stories of corrupt politicians within American cities, including Boss Tweed's downfall, to expose the need for reform within the city structure. The book influenced a public outcry that would force the creation of public city managers and city commissions.
  • Ida Tarbell's "History of the Standard Oil Company"

    Ida Tarbell's "History of the Standard Oil Company"
    In 1904, Tarbell published an épose of the Standard Oil Company and its corruption within the American economy. The book had a strong impact on the push to put the company under trail for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1911 and subsequent break up of the company into a series of small companies.
  • Samuel Hopkin's Adams publishes, "The Great American Fraud"

    Samuel Hopkin's Adams publishes, "The Great American Fraud"
    Muckracker, Samuel Hopkin Adams, publishes an article within the Collier's Magazine about the corruption within the medicine industry, pointing out false claims and hazardist medications. The article proved to push the public to demand regulation, which would come later with the Pure Food and Drug at in 1906. Alongside that, Adams' article elevated the magazine, Collier's, to become a major muckraking magazine.
  • Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

    Upton Sinclair's The Jungle
    Upton Sinclair published his most successful piece of muckraking, The Jungle, which exposed the inhuman working conditions and lack of sanitation within the meatpacking discrict. The outcry from the public forced President Teddy Roosevelt to put through legislation that would regulate the food industry: the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.
  • Theodore Roosevelt's "The Man With the Muck Rake" Speech

    Theodore Roosevelt's "The Man With the Muck Rake" Speech
    Roosevelt gave a speech that would coin a name, "muckrakers," for the new emergence of journalism that expose the corruption within the American economy and political structure. Roosevelt agreed with concept of exposing the corruption and need for reform but feared that muckrakers would lead to social upheaval and a push for a socialist government.
  • The United States enter World War I

    The United States enter World War I
    In reaction to the Zimmerman Telegram, Congress voted to declare war and enter into World War I. Entering the war brought and end to the Progressive Era because the war brought a shift in public opinions and values. The need for reform did not seem a necessary for Americans and therefore, muckrakers became irrelevant and unnecessary.