When a historian analyzes the time period that spanned from after the Civil War to the turn of the century, numerous changes are observed.

The greatest change that holds significance to the present day was the explosion of industrialization.America underwent a metamorphosis from a chiefly agrarian society to an urban metropolis, and the nation transformed into a major player in world affairs, rather than some backwoods land of frontiersmen.Consequently, the wealth of America began to climb upward, and the quality of life for many was steadily improving.However, there were many urban dwellers who suffered greatly during this time period.It was upon the backs of the working class citizens that the new America was built, and their squalor was looked upon as being necessary for progress.It was clear that progressive reform, something that was often previously looked upon as being radical and un-American (Jennings), was urgently needed, if only to preserve the American ideal of an egalitarian society, so that it should not become only an empty assertion with no basis on reality.

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Working conditions were often appalling, with many factory workers laboring six days a week, with twelve hour shifts.Steel workers could expect as much as eighty-four hours a week in the steel mill – which is over twice as much as the forty-hour work week that is the norm for today.Not only were the wages low, but many factories worked seasonally, and would shut down for months at a time, with all the workers left without a paycheck until factory was reopened.(Jennings)Obviously, such circumstances were Especially alarming was the use of child labor.Child laborers were mentally, emotionally, and physically stunted because they were starved of the normal affection and recreation that a child should enjoy.Many of the jobs performed by children were quite dangerous.When one looks at pictures of &qu.

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