This political cartoon is by Joseph Keppler, published in 1889 in “Puck” magazine called “The Bosses of the Senate.”
Journalists and other writers beginning in the 1860s who uncovered social problems in society, were called muckrakers by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. He coined the term and it caught on.
Interestingly enough, first they focused on railroads and the Standard Oil trust. These two topics are in my earlier blog postings. In the 1900s, they focused on political scandals focusing on political machines. Political machines are groups that are headed by bosses and staffed with campaign workers. The bosses rewarded the workers with jobs in that political party.
Some of the muckrakers include Upton Sinclair and Lincoln Steffens. Steffens wrote a book called The Shame of the Cities.
Some other things that muckrakers wrote about were child labor, poverty, family, prostitution and natural recourses, women, and blacks.