Muckrakers Essay

This essay has a total of 1967 words and 9 pages.

muckrakers



Muckraking was a powerful journalistic force, whose supporters made it become so.
Muckraking was the practice of writers and critics exposing corrupt politicians and
business practices. President Theodore Roosevelt made the term "muck-raker" popular. He
once said

The man with the muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward with the muck-rake
in his hands; who was offered a celestial crown for his muckrake, but who would neither
look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake himself the filth of
the floor.

Some, like Roosevelt viewed methods of muckrakers such as Ida Tarbell, Ray S. Baker,
Lincoln Steffens, and Upton Sinclair as these types of people. Others saw these muckraking
methods as perfectly acceptable for fighting against the industrial powerhouses. Either
way, these muckrakers worked hard to arouse sentiment in the hearts of the public (Reiger
1).

Muckraking actually began long before the years of 1900-1902, when the muckraking movement
is credited to have begun. Jesus was probably the first muckraker. Years later, Martin
Luther exposed the corruptness of the Catholic Church. Also, early Abolitionist
works--Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Helper's The Impending Crisis used muckraking to get
a point across. However, events during the 1890s most directly paved the way for the
critiques and exposures of existing conditions. This period was able to reach a limited
upper class and the muckrakers were able to expand appeal to the average middle class
citizen (Reiger 49-50).

One reason for the outspread of muckraking was the explosion of journalism. From 1870-1909
the number of daily newspapers circulated boomed from 574 to 2,600 and the number of
subscribers from 2,800,000 to 24,800,000. With this increase, newspaper owners and editors
needed new bait to reel in its subscribers. The newspaper editors wanted to replace
ordinary town gossip with gossip about the latest events of the city. Therefore, in
newspapers they placed the most shocking events and kept the rural mind drooling for more.
As newspaper circulation grew, the large newspaper depended much less on political parties
and could now even challenge them. Newspapers played on the new human interest, the
concern of the wealthy with the affairs of those below them, status-wise. This "story of
the poor" became the basic outline for muckraking (Hofstadter 185-188).

This new concern of the public demanded more from reporters. Reporters had to dig up
exposs and human-interest stories. However, reporters received more and more notice from
the public eye. A reporter's job was becoming more and more glamorous and held the
aspirations of a growing number of young. As this occurred, those of education and those
of culture sought out the reporter's field (Hofstadter 189-190).

As newspapers saw a radical change, magazines observed one as well. Previous magazines
received limited audiences and were run by literary men. The new magazines, emerging in
1900 were run by business promoters and reached audiences ranging from 400,000 to
1,000,000. They took a turn away from literature and began writing what greatly resembled
news. These magazines, many of which by accident, began producing muckraking articles. One
of the most significant of these muckraking magazines was McClure's. Others included
Hampton's and Pearson's. Magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Collier's produced some
muckraking articles, but were not muckraking magazines in themselves (Hofstadter 190-191).

McClure's magazine had already built a very reasonably sized circulation through popular
fiction and historical representation. Ida Tarbell, the most popular reporter of the
magazine, investigated Standard Oil originally as a way of honoring this great American
business. However, Tarbell started to discover the unhappiness of the workers. She decided
to research more deeply into the Standard Oil Company. Her research provided her with the
story of a company whose ideas were based on "primary privileges." These primary
privileges allowed the company to operate under special permission, but more importantly
operate immorally. This investigation was eventually printed in 1902 and is now considered
the work that started the muckraking era (Reiger 121-125).

Besides writing her "History of the Standard Oil Company," Ida Tarbell wrote many other
muckraking works. She followed the Standard Oil Company saga to write two articles on how
the company affected Kansas and two articles on Rockefeller himself. Tarbell eventually
left McClure's magazine because of a disagreement in business policy and formed the
American with other former members of the McClure's staff. During her career at the
American, Tarbell published many articles including "How Chicago is Finding Herself;"
"Hunt for a Money Trust;" "Roosevelt vs. Rockefeller" and "The Mysteries and Cruelties of
the Tariff." In this tariff article, from 1910 to 1911, Tarbell challenged the tariff
legislation. In a series of seven articles she wrote of the strong connection between the
tariff legislation and big business. She also showed that the tariff legislation gave no
protection to the laborer and hinted that it had no concern for the laborer at all (Reiger
125, 144-145,155-156).

Another notable muckraker was Ray S. Baker. Like Tarbell, Baker started out his muckraking
career writing for McClure's magazine. Between the years of 1903 and 1906, Baker wrote
articles including "How Railroads Make Public Opinion," "The Railroad Rate," and
"Railroads on Trial." These articles discussed the use of rebates, the treatment of
private cars, favoritism in rate making, creating of public opinion and the destruction of
industries by railway consolidation and rate discrimination. Again like Tarbell, Baker
left the McClure's staff and joined the American magazine company. During his employment
at the American, Baker focused on the discrimination of the "Negro" and his problem with
religion. Some articles between 1907 and 1909 were "Following the Color Line" and "The
Negro's Struggle for Survival in the North," and "The Godlessness of New York" and "The
Spiritual Unrest." Baker in his writings was not primarily critical of American life.
Continues for 5 more pages >>




  • Development of modern Rap
    Development of modern Rap Rap music as a musical form began among the youth of South Bronx, New York in the mid 1970s. Individuals such Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash were some of the early pioneers of this art form. Through their performances at clubs and promotion of the music, rap consistently gained in popularity throughout the rest of the 1970s. The first commercial success of the rap song Rapper\'s Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979 helped bring rap music into the national spotlig
  • History of Rap
    History of Rap Rap music as a musical form began among the youth of South Bronx, New York in the mid 1970s. Individuals such Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash were some of the early pioneers of this art form. Through their performances at clubs and promotion of the music, rap consistently gained in popularity throughout the rest of the 1970s. The first commercial success of the rap song Rapper\'s Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979 helped bring rap music into the national spotlight. The 198
  • Msuic
    Msuic History of Rap By: Jiggalow-B E-mail: oohrelay@aol.com Rap music as a musical form began among the youth of South Bronx, New York in the mid 1970s. Individuals such Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash were some of the early pioneers of this art form. Through their performances at clubs and promotion of the music, rap consistently gained in popularity throughout the rest of the 1970s. The first commercial success of the rap song Rapper\'s Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979 helped bring
  • Media violence and its effects on children
    media violence and its effects on children Introduction Communications technology is expanding through the entire global community (Dyson 2). Children everywhere are being born into a world of images and messages, which are largely separated from their home, school and spiritual lives (Dyson 2). In society today storytellers are seldom parents, grandparents, teachers or the clergy; instead they are the handful of distant forces with something to sell (Dyson 2). What is unique about the media ind
  • History of Rap
    History of Rap The most popular and influential form of African-American pop music of the 1980\'s and 1990\'s, rap is also one of the most controversial styles of the rock era. And not just among the guardians of cultural taste and purity that have always been counted among rock \'n\' roll\'s chief enemies--Black, White, rock and soul audiences continue to fiercely debate the musical and social merits of rap, whose most radical innovations subverted many of the musical and cultural tenets upon
  • Hip hop
    rap hip hop By: me E-mail: cokesir4@hotmail.com Rap Music; Its impact on society since its birth. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines rap as a rhythmic chanting of usual rhymed couplets to a musical accompaniment. The purpose of this paper is to show how rap music has come to be. Also, citing the many performers who have mad this form of music what it is today. Rap is a large part of our society and its evolution is proof that this personal style of music will be around for a very long t
  • Realism
    Realism Realism During the mid-to-late 19th century, Realism, an effective literary and artistic movement was on the rise. There were many factors contributing to the strong emergence of Realism, a reaction against romanticism, an interest in scientific method, the systematizing of the study of documentary history, and the influence of rational philosophy (Chase). In Realism the details along with cause and effect of environment and of circumstance, become the grounds for exploration of human v
  • English Literature
    English Literature English literature I. INTRODUCTION English literature, literature written in English since c.1450 by the inhabitants of the British Isles; it was during the 15th cent. that the English language acquired much of its modern form. II. The Tudors and the Elizabethan Age The beginning of the Tudor dynasty coincided with the first dissemination of printed matter. William Caxton\'s press was established in 1476, only nine years before the beginning of Henry VII\'s reign. Caxton\'s ac
  • American Newspaper Comics
    American Newspaper Comics 1. Definition and Defining Elements of Newspaper Comics 1.1. Definition According to Wikipedia encyclopaedia, "[…] a comic strip is a short strip or sequence of drawings, telling a story. Drawn by a cartoonist, they are published on a recurring basis (usually daily or weekly) in newspapers or on the Internet. They usually communicate to the reader via speech balloons. The term ‘comic\' derives from the fact that most strips were funny in the beginning. For this reas
  • Classical and Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema
    Classical and Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema Film Studies Assignment 1 Classical and Post-Classical Hollywood Cinema Table of contents INTRODUCTION--------------------------------------------- 3 CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD------------------------------- 4 Classical Gender Representation-------------------------------------- 4 Classical Style, form and content-------------------------------------- 5 GENRE TRANSFORMATION AND POST-CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD------------------------------- 5 REFERENCES 8 BIBLIOGRA
  • Rupert Murdoch?s Media monopoly
    Rupert Murdoch?s Media monopoly The paper explores how dangerous such an important mass media as TV can be, if too many power is concentrated in just a few hands, and how our perception of reality can be manipulated by the selection and manipulation of information presented on TV. Table of Contents Introduction ……………..……………………… p. 3 1. The development of television ……….. p. 4 2. Globalisation of the TV market and its effects …………………………. p. 5
  • Research paper
    research paper The Development of Modern Rap Rap music as a musical form began among the youth of South Bronx, New York in the mid 1970a€™s. Individuals such Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash were some of the early pioneers of this art form. Through their performances at clubs and promotion of the music, rap consistently gained in popularity throughout the rest of the 1970a€™s. The first commercial success of the rap song Rapper\'s Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979 helped bring rap mu
  • Hip Hop
    Hip Hop Hip-hop as a musical form began among the youth of South Bronx, New York in the mid- 1970\'s. Individuals such Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash were some of the early pioneers of this art form.(Fernando 43) Through their performances at clubs and promotion of the music, hip-hop consistently gained in popularity throughout the rest of the 1970\'s. The first commercial success for hip-hop was a song "Rapper\'s Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979.(Potter 45) This helped bring hip-hop int