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Vanessa Gonzalez

Ms. Montes

United States History

16 March 2018

GPO: Communicate Ideas

The Progressive Movement- The Fight for Rights

Social and political conditions that existed during the progressive movement era were,

The federal income tax, The direct election of senators, and Keating Owen Act Limits of Child

Labor. These were most of the “poor” conditions to be known during The Progressive era. The

1913 16th Amendment sets up federal income tax gave the government permission to collect

money from all Americans. The 1913 17th Amendment calls for direct election of U.S Senators

due to senate being vacant for months or/and even years. Keating Owen Act limits of Child

Labor restricted children from working many hours.

The Federal income tax was a way of collecting money from Americans. Those who

made over $800 would be taxed 3%. That eventually changed to, those who got payed $600 and

above would be taxed from 3-5%. The income tax ended in 1866. “The desire of Americans to

pass an income tax on the rich was strong in 1909, when President William taft proposed a 2% of

big businesses known as corporations.” Americans believed the rich should be the ones to get

taxed when big businesses would only get taxed 2% and everyone else would get taxed 3-5%.

This lead to congress writing the 16th amendment about the income tax. It was then sent to states

so they can vote. Though the Northern starts weren’t a fond of the idea, The Western states had
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been supportive of the amendment. The money collect from the Americans were used to help

make our country better.

The 17th Amendment: The direct election of U.S senators was made to stop big

companies from gaining access to senates. Senates would be treated as puppets by the

corporations. “The senate was seen as a “millionaire's club” serving powerful private interests.”

Which meant they did what they were told by companies due to big amount of money and

power. “The rise of the people’s party, commonly referred to as the populist party, added

motivation for making the senate more directly accountable to people.” People started to fight for

what they believed was right. By 1980’s the house of representatives passed seven resolutions

proposing a constitutional amendment for a direct election of senators, unfortunately the senators

would refuse to take a vote. 1911, the house of representatives passed a house joint resolution 39

proposing a constitutional amendment for a direct election of senator. This led to racial

discrimination among voters. On April 8, 1913, three-fourths of the States had approved the

proposed amendment, then it was officially included as the 17th amendment.

1916 Keating Owen Act Limit of Child Labor was made to help children who worked.

The children under the age of 14, who worked in factories were not allowed to ship or deliver

goods from or to foreign countries. The Keating Owen Act Limit Child Labor made sure children

only worked for eight hours a day and only up to six days a week. They would enforce this act

by having inspector perform inspections at workplaces. Those inspectors also had the right to

perform unannounced inspections. If anyone lied or violated the act, they would get fined or face

imprisonment.
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These Amendments and Act were made to make conditions better in our country.

Everyone believed kids shouldn’t be working insane amount of hours. They believed that

everyone should be charged at equal rates, or so, make companies pay more than they were

paying for taxes, since money for them was no problem. These Americans did what they

believed was right for our country. They were tired of corporations managing the senate. Due to

their actions our country is somewhat better. Though it doesn't seem as much, their actions have

great value.

Works Cited

Political and Social Reforms, www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/history/us-history-ii/the-

progressive-era-19001920/political-and-social-reforms.
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“16th Amendment - Kids | Laws.Com.” Kids, kids.laws.com/16th-amendment.

National Archives. (2018). 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Direct Election of U.S.

Senators. [online] Available at: https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/17th-amendment .

National Archives. (2018). 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Direct Election of U.S.

Senators. [online] Available at: https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/17th-amendment.

Montes, M. “American Ideals in U.S. History.” 18 September 2017, Ambassador

School of Global Leadership, Los Angeles, CA. School Lecture.

Hart, Diane. History Alive!: Pursuing American Ideals. Teachers' Curriculum Institute,

Inc, 2008.