Politics became complicated in the late 1800s. The working class wanted more rights such as an eight hour work day. With working men able to vote, they had a voice, but people with money were in control. This was shown with political machines which were often corrupt. Women had more leisure time than before thanks to new machines in factories. With this leisure time, women would get higher education such as college. This helped start the emergence of women’s rights. The women seen as leaders during this movement were mostly women who had attended college. As for African Americans, they started working towards their own rights. One example is Ida B. Wells who launched a national campaign against lynching. People such as farmers created the People’s Party in hopes of having a voice from within the government. They were sick of corrupt politicians and wanted to be able to make a living. Though the party ended up disintegrating in 1896, some of their core ideas were adopted in the later decades. Activists marched on the capitol in hopes of creating change, but nothing came out of it.
The late 1800s led to little political change during the time, but helped create a start for later decades. The women’s rights movement ended up with women’s suffrage in 1920. Though the rich were the ones with the most power, the working class started to fight for their own voice. In the end, it led to the Progressive Era.
Keene, Jennifer D., Cornell, Saul, and O’Donnell, Edward T. Visions of America: A History of The United States, Volume 2, 3rd ed. 2019.