The Amazing Life of Jane Adams and Her Many Accomplishments
An Overview Of Jane Addams' Life
Jane Addams was born in a small village in Illinois called Cedarville on September 6th, 1860. Her father, John Addams was a business man who owned a local mill as well as some land and companies in other states. Jane's mom, Sarah Addams died only two years after giving birth to Jane and from that point on, one of her older sisters took care of the children and house while John worked. John eventually went on to represent his district in the Illinois senate, as he was always very involved with civic matters.
Then in 1868, John got re-married to a woman named Anna. Anna Addams was a classy lady to put it shortly. She was self educated and had a high regard for social position. She became somewhat of a role model to Jane.
Jane attended school in her hometown and then in 1877 attended a school in which her dad was one of the trustees, Rockford Female Seminary. She excelled in school becoming valedictorian, an editor and even president of her class. Unfortunately, Jane's father died in 1881. This depressed her greatly, she then decided to attend medical school after graduating high school.
She had childhood spinal tuberculosis which gave her a life of bad health. After receiving a surgery to correct the curvature in her spine, Jane was forced to drop out of medical school and was bed ridden for roughly six months. Her step-mother Anna convinced her to explore Europe from 1883 to 1885. When she returned from her trip she was quite depressed and it wasn't until her second trip to Europe from 1887-1888 at 27 years old that she realized what she wanted to do for a career.
While in London she visited the Toynbee Hall as well as the people's palace and at these places she talked with the founders about various social topics. Shortly after returning home, Jane Addams and her friend Ellen Starr opened the Hull house on September 18th, 1889. Hull House started out small as a charity organization to help the less fortunate people of Chicago.
Over time the establishment expanded greatly to include things like child care, a gym, etc. Hull House is still open to this day. Jane had many big accomplishments over her lifetime. She fought hard for world peace, helped found the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), And even won the noble peace prize in 1931 at the age of 70. Unfortunately, after suffering a heart attack Jane's heath deteriorated quickly and she died at the age of 74 in Chicago on may 21st, 1935.
What Was Happening At The Time She Was Alive
During Jane Addams life, there were many political, economic, and social changes in the world. Such as the decade of the 1920’s where the world had some of the most important and memorable events. This time period was called the “Roaring Twenties.” There were many incredible and unforgettable events that happened while she was alive. In 1918 the allies in Germany ended world war I. 1919, congress establishes the eighteenth amendment, forbidding the sale of alcohol anywhere in the United States. Jane Addams was a strong supporter of the eighteenth amendment. We know this even though there is no record of her talking on behalf of the support of the eighteenth amendment. Addams believed that alcohol "was of course a leading lure and a necessary element in houses of prostitution, both from a financial and a social standpoint." She explained that crime such as prostitution could revolves around alcohol which is somewhat true back in the 1920’s. 1920 the nineteenth amendment was made, allowing women the right to vote. 1924, Ford motor company surpasses 1 billion dollars in capital. Also in 1929, there was the “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre” in Jane Addams home state of Illinois. This was the single most awful and bloodiest event in that decade. It was a fight to control Chicago’s bootlegging trade. This massacre included members of Al Capone’s gang and their rivals Bugs Moran and his gang. As well in 1929 the American stock market crashed. This signalled the start of the great depression. Before any of these events, Addams joined the “Anti-Imperialist League.” She was a strong supporter of the “‘Progressive’ Party,” and she nominated Theodore Roosevelt for Presidency while the Party Convention was taking place in Chicago, August 1912. Even though she didn’t fully agree, she signed up on the party platform. Addams then went on to talk, make speeches, and campaign for Roosevelt's presidential campaign. She was very much into the political aspect of the world, trying to make world peace happen. There were many more events that occurred throughout Jane Addams lifespan seeing as she lived from 1860 to 1935. The 1920’s marked a huge ‘X’ on the timeline of the earth and the timeline of Jane Addams.
Some of Jane Addams' Accomplishments
Jane Addams contributed greatly to society in many different ways throughout her lifetime. One of the most known and possibly biggest of her achievements was opening Hull House back in 1889 with her friend from medical school, Ellen Starr.
Hull House was at first a place that reached out to the less-fortunate people of Chicago and gave them a place to enjoy art and literature. At the time books and art were expensive things due to the limited access and early technology of the paper press.
Hull House was located in a densely populated neighbourhood of immigrants and after upgrades and improvements was eventually a source of child daycare and kindergarten for working mothers, an employment help centre, an art museum, and much more. Hull house eventually had thirteen different buildings on it's property with a very wide range of services offered at each building. They donated spaces to be used for charity events, meetings for trade unions and various clubs and programs such as the Jane Club for Single Working Girls.
In a way, Hull House set an example and inspired a lot of organizations that we still utilize today. Back in the late eighteen hundreds there was not a lot of support for people of a poor background or those of color, especially in a densely populated area like Chicago. So Hull House was an amazing source of hope and faith for those who felt hopeless.
On top of Hull House, Jane had many many different accomplishments. She wrote lots of books, became the first female president of the national conference of social work and even won a noble peace prize. When Jane was in her 40's she became very involved with the peace movement. During the first world war, her and many other women from countries involved in the war or even women from neutral countries.
They talked and planned ways to stop the war and she eventually founded the Women's International League For Peace and Freedom (WILPF) which was an organization committed to improving women's conditions and to essentially provide women with equal rights. As a result of her efforts creating the WILPF, Jane was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1931.
The big Difference That Jane Made for The World of Sociology
Jane Addams was a sociologist, philosopher, activist, author, and even a Nobel peace prize recipient. She had many great contributions not only to the sociological world, but everything from politics to everyday acts of kindness. She was one of the founders of the Hull House. The Hull House had many uses. One of the uses was a sociological centre for women. Addams had many friends in universities such as the Chicago School of Sociology. She would influence all her friends work through her work in certain studies of sociology. She did this through writing papers that reflected the views of the Hull house community.
Addams had worked on many other social issues like women's rights. Addams didn’t define herself as a social worker. Even though many people in her field considered her work as “social work.” Addams combined multiple cultural theories such as feminism to make the sociological ideas she had. She worked all around the world, trying to establish world peace and women’s rights. A leader of a group called the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Addams tried to underline the importance that war is parallel to world peace. Addams wrote “This world crisis should be utilized for the creation of an international government to secure without war, those high ends which they now gallantly seek to obtain upon the battlefield. With such a creed can the pacifists of today be accused of selfishness when they urge upon the United States no isolation, nor indifference to moral issues and to the fate of liberty and democracy, but a strenuous endeavor to lead all nations of the earth into an organized international life worthy of civilized men.” (Addams 1917)
Int the beginning of the 1900’s Jane Addams was involved with many activities trying to create peace with industrialism and culture. Particularly she focused on children and they way they interact and developed educationally and socially. Addams was widely called on for duties involving social justice and reform.
Through her life, Jane Addams contributed her body and knowledge to this world. She provided her uses in solving social reform issues and small things like picking up trash. She had many important positions with varied groups.
The Contributing Influences To Jane's Way of Life and Her Accomplishments
In conclusion to what we have researched about Jane Addams, it is obvious that she has a great deal of compassion and she obviously wanted to help people. In my personal opinion I believe that Jane Addams' way of life and her work ethic was influenced by her tragic life. Right from the age of two years old she lost her mother, which any two year old needs.
Her father was probably quite busy with his line of work, and I think it is safe to assume that Jane grew up quick because of those two components of her life. Then when her father remarried to a woman who was self-educated and classy, I think it inspired Jane t pursue a life that could help others as she had grown up in a different type of home. She lived in a house with many siblings and I believe that a house with more brothers and sisters is generally more active.
With that level of activity brings more personalities in the house. Jane was around her brothers and sisters seeing them all grow up with their own interests and dislikes. Compare this to a family with 2 children. You talk t your brother or sister and have a close connection to them or at least understand them. But this isn't the same as having that same relationship with over four times that amount of people. She may have even seen her brothers or sisters get neglected perhaps and this could have inspired her to do the things she did in life.
Jane did a lot of travelling for long periods of time while she was young, and it is safe to say that being in a different place with a new culture can really help a person figure out who they be and what they want to be.
Overall I believe that when it comes to almost any person, your upbringing and the people you are surrounded by and your experiences will ultimately shape who you are as a person.
for Sociology Project on Jane Addams By: Ricardo ShillyShally & Gary Beucy
"Jane Addams." - New World Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
By 1900, the U.S. Had over 100 Settlement Houses. By 1911, Chicago Had 35. "About Jane Addams." Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.
Frederick, Richard G. "Jane Addams." Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (2016): Research Starters. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.