AP American History - Compare and discuss Upton Sinclair's THE JUNGLE, Orwell's 1984 and progressive American politics - Bibliography Included!

Essay by CompaqoHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2005

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Progressivism was a period of American history in which reforming working conditions, improving the way of life, exposing corruption, and expanding democracy rose from the city slums to Washington D.C. The lower and middle classes joined to demanded changes in areas such a businesses and trusts, labor, and social conditions. One of these areas was the meatpacking industry. It was a shocking novel written in 1906, which exposed the horrible truths of the meatpacking industry and spurred Congress to change the course of history. Upton Sinclair's imagery and description of the conditions of meat packing plants and meat, in her book The Jungle, brought upon legislation that molded the foundations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This book clearly shows how one simple action can lead to extraordinary changes in history.

From the publisher of The Jungle, Random House," When it was first published in 1906, The Jungle exposed the inhumane conditions of Chicago's stockyards and the laborer's struggle against industry and 'wage slavery.'

It was an immediate bestseller and led to new regulations that forever changed workers' rights and the meatpacking industry," (Random). The Jungle shockingly revealed intolerable labor practices and unsanitary working conditions in the Chicago stockyards as it tells the brutally grim story of a Slavic family that immigrates to America full of optimism and hope, but soon descends into numbing poverty, moral degradation, and despair. It is here that American history is changed (Phillips).

On its first publication, the book caused enormous public outcry and out roar. Even then-president Teddy Roosevelt supposedly threw his breakfast sausages out the window after reading the book. The public uproar eventually lead to the passage of legislation, including the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 (FELA), which in turn lead to the...