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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--Stowes Uncle Toms Cabin and Helpers 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 2600 and the number of subscribers from 2800000 to 24800000 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
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