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Jacob Riis

A poor immigrant who came to New York in 1870 and had suffered through many difficult times. He eventually became a reported and focused his work on exposing the conditions of the poor people that lived all around him.


Journalists who "uncovered the nation's problems and wrote about them." This name was given to them by President Roosevelt because he saw these journalists as people who "raked the mud of society."


Living areas that many urban poor people lived in during the industrial period. It was made up of a very small living space, similar to an apartment that housed four families on each of its floors.


The facilities and equipment that allow for an organization, community, or city to function. This is inclusive of roads, public transport, sewage, and power systems. Additionally, this includes the lack of fire protection that many of the early U.S. cities had, meaning that many building often burned down.

The Jungle

A novel written by muckraker Upton Sinclair in 1906 about the unsanitary and unsafe conditions in the meat packing industry. He described how large amounts of meat were stored in places that water dripped upon it, rats ran through it, and rat droppings became processed as part of the meat.

Lincoln Steffens

A muckraker journalist who wrote, in 1902, The Shame of the Cities which focused on corruption in the city government. It revealed how many politicians admitted to being paid off and accepting bribes, which weakened the political power of average Americans, especially laborers.

Political Machines

A type of controlling over the government in which full-time politicians tried to gain large amount of political power, especially the power and influence that were associated with it. Often run by a political party, politicians joined forces for optimal gain in the government.

Tammany Hall

A political machine, bossed by William Tweed, located in New York that had be known to cheat the city out of over two hundred million dollars during the early 1870s.


The act that many politicians engaged in which involved them giving jobs to friends and other supporters. This was done in order to gain more support, yet it led to many inexperienced people running the government.

Pendleton Act

An act that was passed in 1883 that limited patronage by making guidelines of hiring nonmilitary government workers and forced those civil service workers to test into their positions.

Ethnic Neighborhoods

Different neighborhoods that involved different groups of people or different races of people to cluster and live together. They different groups would live separate from other groups, either by choice or necessity, and were also often crammed into very tight spaces.

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