A Reform is a way of changing society. During the 1880?s and 90?s many people had different opinions on reform and how society was to be changed. This was the ending of the war and people needed a brake through both everyday life and politics. Since there were so many people there were different arguments about how the reforms should be.
Most of the reform began in the cities rather than the state and federal levels. This was known as Urban reform. The reason why the reform started in the cities was because that is were all political, professional, and business leaders lived. Part of this urban reform was that the cities took over or monopolized city utilities such as gas, water, and electricity. Many city mayors controlled these monopolies. Many of the mayors supported welfare services which helped the basic standards of living for many people. They also built playgrounds and lodging houses for the homeless.
There were also reforms at a state level. Certain governors and other state officials argued to make government more efficient and responsive to voters. With the introducing of state level reforms, Bob LaFollete brought about a direct primary. Now voters could cast ballots instead of hand picking candidates by party leaders. The state also wanted to abolish unsafe working conditions. They came up with workers? accident insurance and compensation system. Many frustrated reformers wanted to end all child labor. They were successful. Businesses could not hire any child under the age of fourteen.
At last there was reform at the Federal level. The federal government wanted to change the preservation of the environment and in social legislation. Realizing that the land needed to be protected, Congress Yosemite Park in California. This was the first national park ever. Then in 1905 Theodore Roosevelt put aside more than 200 million acres of land to be used for reservations and forests.
These were most of the big changes in reform in the late 1800?s. Still to this day many things that took place a hundred years ago still are in effect today. Such as the Forrest that TR put aside. Still today there are many reforms going on in Washington and they could effect what happens in the next hundred years.