Women's grassroots activism and their vision of a new civic consciousness lay at the heart of social reform in the United States throughout the Progressive Era, the period between the depression of 1893 and America's entry into the Second World War. Though largely disenfranchised except for school elections, white middle-class women reformers won a variety of victories, notably in the improvement of working conditions, especially for women and children. Ironically, though, child labor legislation pitted women of different classes against one another. To the reformers, child labor and industrial home work were equally inhumane practices that should be outlawed, but, as a number of women historians have recently observed, working-class mothers did not always share this view. Given the precarious finances of working-class families and the necessity of pooling the wages of as many family members as possible, working-class families viewed the passage and enforcement of stringent child labor statutes as a personal economic disaster and made strenuous efforts to circumvent child labor laws. Yet reformers rarely understood this resistance in terms of the desperate economic situation of working-class families, interpreting it instead as evidence of poor parenting. This is not to dispute women reformers' perception of child labor as a terribly exploitative practice, but their understanding of child labor and their legislative solutions for ending it failed to take account of the economic needs of working-class families.
The primary purpose of the passage is to
A explain why women reformers of the Progressive Era failed to achieve their goals
B discuss the origins of child labor laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
C compare the living conditions of working-class and middle-class women in the Progressive Era
D discuss an oversight on the part of women reformers of the Progressive Era
E revise a traditional view of the role played by women reformers in enacting Progressive Era reforms
The view mentioned in the highlight text of the passage refers to which of the following?
A Some working-class mothers' resistance to the enforcement of child labor laws
B Reformers' belief that child labor and industrial home work should be abolished
C Reformers' opinions about how working-class families raised their children
D Certain women historians' observation that there was a lack of consensus between women of different classes on the issue of child labor and industrial home work
E Working-class families' fears about the adverse consequences that child labor laws would have on their ability to earn an adequate living
The author of the passage mentions the observations of women historians (the highlight text) most probably in order to
A provide support for an assertion made in the preceding sentence
B raise a question that is answered in the last sentence of the passage
C introduce an opinion that challenges a statement made in the first sentence of the passage
D offer an alternative view to the one attributed in the passage to working-class mothers
E point out a contradiction inherent in the traditional view of child labor reform as it is presented in the passage
The passage suggests that which of the following was a reason for the difference of opinion between working class mothers and women reformers on the issue of child labor?
A Reformers' belief that industrial home work was preferable to child labor outside the home
B Reformers' belief that child labor laws should pertain to working conditions but not to pay
C Working-class mothers' resentment at reformers' attempts to interfere with their parenting
D Working-class mothers' belief that child labor was an inhumane practice
E Working-class families' need for every employable member of their families to earn money
The author of the passage asserts which of the following about women reformers who tried to abolish child labor?
A They alienated working-class mothers by attempting to enlist them in agitating for progressive causes.
B They underestimated the prevalence of child labor among the working classes.
C They were correct in their conviction that child labor was deplorable but shortsighted about the impact of child labor legislation on working-class families.
D They were aggressive in their attempts to enforce child labor legislation, but were unable to prevent working-class families from circumventing them.
E They were prevented by their nearly total disenfranchisement from making significant progress in child labor reform.
According to the passage, one of the most striking achievements of white middle-class women reformers during the progressive Era was
Againing the right to vote in school elections
Bmobilizing working-class women in the fight against child labor
Cuniting women of different classes in grassroots activism
Dimproving the economic conditions of working- class families
Eimproving women's and children's working conditions