The Progressives

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By the early 1900s, many Americans had left rural areas and moved to cities to take jobs in factories and offices. Although workers often lived in miserable conditions, city life attracted many newcomers because of an alluring consumer culture and new freedoms for young adults. Activist citizens started reform movements that worked for public education, labor rights, women's rights, the safety of the nation's food supply, and the conservation of natural resources—even though some of these movements often conflicted each other.

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