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The Jungle From the point of view of history The Jungle is both a comment on and a product of its own times Those times most definitely need to be viewed in relation to what happened in the last half of the nineteenth century This incredible time period saw the making of great industries and great fortunes for those who were in control of the industries So far as the relationship between business and government was concerned it was a time of laissez-faire where government had very little to do with what business was doing If as Calvin Coolidge said in the 1920s the business of America is business what did this mean for individuals their rights and expectations The Jungle appeared in January of 1906 It is completely understandable to me that the reading public responded to details on meat production and plant sanitation instead of the conditions of workingmen or Sinclairs Socialist message In turn The Jungle helped to do something completely different than what the books author meant for it to do The Jungle helped to push the Pure Food and Drug Bill out of a House committee and force president Teddy Roosevelt to jump into action Roosevelt quickly requested the Department of Agriculture to send an investigating committee and through additional pressure including Sinclairs personal appeal Roosevelt sent in an additional committee Neill-Reynolds Commission Also at the same time a Beef Inspection Act was submitted in the Senate all of this with Roosevelts complete approval Somehow when the meat industry found out about all this they were able to get articles published which defended present practices Since Roosevelt was not able to exert the pressure he himself felt he released a portion of the Neill-Reynolds report which basically confirmed the truths of the packinghouse conditions that were depicted in The Jungle It is my opinion that the fact that The Jungle could cause such a large industry
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