What did "protecting social welfare" mean during the the Progressive Era?
What "protecting social welfare" was during the Progressive Era was working to soften some of the conditions of industrialization. The Social Gospel and settlement house movements of the late 1800s, which aimed to help the poor through community centers, churches, and social services, continued during the Progressive Era inspired even more reform activists. The Young Men's Association (YMCA), for example, opened libraries, sponsored classes, and built swimming pools and handball courts. The Salvation army fed poor people in soup kitchens, cared for children in nurseries, and sent "slumbrigades" to instruct poor immigrants in middle-class values of hard work and temperance. Florence Kelly became an advocate for improving the lives of women and children. She was appointed chief inspector of factories for Illinois after she had helped to win passage of the Illinois Factory Act in 1893. The act, which prohibited child labor and limited women's working hours, soon became a model for other states.