“It is not, I suppose, at all the design of this platform in any way to abolish what the grammarians call “the distinction of sex”; and when we speak of “woman’s rights,” we admit, in the very language which is thus employed, that she is a “woman” – that that is appropriately her character–that under this name she is fitly described.”Rev. Beriah Green TENTH NATIONAL WOMAN’S RIGHTS CONVENTION, COOPER INSTITUTE, NEW YORK, MAY 10-11, 1860.In 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, abolitionist and male supporter of woman suffrage Beriah Green articulated what we would now describe as a critique of gendered power relations, even if he did so in language we might find difficult to decode. The “distinction of sex” to which he referred was more than mere grammatical construction. As Joan Scott has noted, gender, even in its original linguistic function was “a way of classifying phenomena, a socially agreed upon system of distinctions rather than an objective description of inherent traits.”As the noted historian of suffrage Ellen DuBois has argued, finding gender in the movement for woman suffrage is a somewhat vexing task:Subjecting the subject of woman suffrage to a gender history approach must surmount the obstacle that the term “gender” is largely absent from the primary sources. But this does not mean that the underlying concepts packed into the contemporary use of the term are absent. Tani Barlow has approached the history of women’s rights (including suffrage) in China by tracing the shifting Chinese language terms for woman/female. The English language does not provide such an easy entry into this project–though the terms for the political movement were numerous, shifting, and subtly different in connotation–woman suffrage, equal suffrage, votes for women, home protection, women’s suffrage, etc. While the term “gender” does appear in a handful of items in the HWS, they are almost all references to a clever gambit by Myra Bradwell to exploit a loophole in an 1845 statute that stated “When any party or person is described or referred to by words importing the masculine gender, females as well as males shall be deemed to be included.” The Illinois Supreme Court rejected the “petitioner’s claims that the industrialization introduced to America. Progressivism began as a social movement and grew into a political movement. The early progressives rejected Social Darwinism. In other words, they were people who believed that the problems society faced (poverty, violence, greed, racism, class warfare) could best be addressed by providing good education, a safe environment, and an efficient workplace. Progressives lived mainly in the cities, were college educated, and believed that government could be a tool for change. Social reformers, like Jane Addams, and journalists, like Jacob Riis and Ida Tarbel, were powerful voices for progressivism. They concentrated on exposing the evils of corporate greed, combating fear of immigrants, and urging Americans to think hard about what democracy meant. Other local leaders encouraged Americans to register to vote, fight political corruption, and let the voting public decide how issues should best be addressed (the initiative, the referendum, and the recall). On a national level, progressivism gained a strong voice in the White House when Roosevelt became president in 1901. TR believed that strong corporations were good for America, but he also believed that corporate behavior must be watched to ensure that corporate greed did not get out of hand (trust-busting and federal regulation of business). Progressivism ended with World War I when the horrors of war exposed people’s cruelty and many Americans associated President Woodrow Wilson’s use of progressive language (“the war to make the world safe for democracy”) with the war. The National Child Labor Committee, an organization dedicated to the abolition of all child labor, was formed in 1904. By publishing information on the lives and working conditions of young workers, it helped to mobilize popular support for state-level child labor laws. These laws were often paired with compulsory education laws which were designed to keep children in school and out of the paid labor market until a specified age (usually 12, 14, or 16 years.)In 1916, under pressure from the NCLC and the National Consumers League, the United States Congress passed the Keating–Owen Act, regulating interstate commerce involving goods produced by employees under the ages of 14 or 16, depending on the type of work, which was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. It was the first federal child labor law. However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the law two years later in Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918), declaring that the law violated the Commerce Clause by regulating intrastate commerce. Later that year, Congress attempted to levy a tax on businesses with employees under the ages of 14 or 16 (again depending on the type of work), which was struck down by the Supreme Court in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture (1922).In response to these setbacks, Congress, on June 2, 1924, approved an amendment to the United States Constitution that would authorize Congress to regulate “labor of persons under eighteen years of age”, and submitted it to the state legislatures for ratification. Only five states ratified the amendment in the 1920s. However, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration supported it, and another 14 states signed on in 1933 (his first year in office); 28 states in all had given their approval by 1937. An additional 8 states were needed at the time to ratify the proposed amendment.The common legal opinion on federal child labor regulation reversed in the 1930s. Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 regulating the employment of those under 16 or 18 years of age, and the Supreme Court upheld the law. After this shift, the amendment has been described as “moot” and effectively part of the Constitution.However, while the 1938 labor law placed limits on many forms of child labor, agricultural labor was excluded. As a result, approximately 500,000 children pick almost a quarter of the food currently produced in the United States.In 1994 the Arkansas state Federation of Labor placed a child welfare initiative on the ballot prohibiting child labor, which the voters passed.Human rights organizations have documented child labor in USA. According to a 2009-2010 petition by Human Rights Watch: “Hundreds of thousands of children are employed as farm workers in the United States, often working 10 or more hours a day. They are often exposed to dangerous pesticides, experience high rates of injury, and suffer fatalities at five times the rate of other working youth. Their long hours contribute to alarming drop-out rates. Government statistics show that barely half ever finish high school. According to the National Safety Council, agriculture is the second most dangerous occupation in the United States. However, current US child labor laws allow child farm workers to work longer hours, at younger ages, and under more hazardous conditions than other working youths. While children in other sectors must be 12 to be employed and cannot work more than 3 hours on a school day, in agriculture, children can work at age 12 for unlimited hours before and after school Any of a group of American writers identified with pre-World War I reform and exposé literature. The muckrakers provided detailed, accurate journalistic accounts of the political and economic corruption and social hardships caused by the power of big business in a rapidly industrializing United States. The name muckraker was pejorative when used by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in his speech of April 14, 1906; he borrowed a passage from John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, which referred to “the Man with the Muckrake…who could look no way but downward.” But muckraker also came to take on favourable connotations of social concern and courageous exposition.Lincoln Steffens, 1912 Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.The muckrakers’ work grew out of the yellow journalism of the 1890s, which whetted the public appetite for news arrestingly presented, and out of popular magazines, especially those established by S.S. McClure, Frank A. Munsey, and Peter F. Collier. The emergence of muckraking was heralded in the January 1903 issue of McClure’s Magazine by articles on municipal government, labour, and trusts, written by Lincoln Steffens, Ray Stannard Baker, and Ida M. Tarbell.

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