As Hull House was building it's reputation, many questioned who Jane Addams was. Jane Addams was born on September 6, 1860 in Cedarville, Illinois to a high middle class and evangelical Christian household in which she lost her mother at the age of two and half years old due to internal bleeding. Her father, John Addams was a very well known businessman and politician. Addams was inspired by her father as he was once an Illinois state senator. As a young girl, Addams found passion in reading and would read books, in which her first ever book would be a private collection from her father in a public library in Cedarville that focused on history and Christianity.
John Addams the father of Jane Addams
(3:19-5:19) The video above gives a brief documentary of Jane Addams and her fight for equality for women. Although it wasn't easy for her to achieve she would gain recognition by receiving the Noble Peace Prize and would be one of founders of the Women's Peace Party (WPP).
Although Jane Addams focused on equality for women she also fought for child labor and poverty. Addams believed that education was the main priority for children as they were working 12 hour shifts around dangerous machines. Kids as young as age ten were already working and by having the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), It will help people realize the terrible conditions children are going through by working around machines that can cause them harm everyday. The other topic was poverty in which many people were unemployed, especially the immigrants. Addams wanted the world to notice the conditions the lower class people were living in as the tenements weren't the most sanitary places. Many families were in one small room where the conditions were horrific and catching a disease was common.
Statistics showing how kids from the age of 10-14 years old were working between 1870-1930
As Jane Addams became well known towards others and many people looked up to her, she would give speeches about different situations that she was focusing on. One in particular though sparked a controversy where Addams wanted to express her opinions on World War 1 in which the country entered the war in 1914. When she expressed that she was against the United States entering the war, many people started to question her patriotism where the press started to attack her and she would then be expelled from the Daughter of the American Revolution, an organization that focused on women who were descended from a person involved in the United State's struggle for independence.
(0:57-2:57) This video gives more information about Jane Addams and how times were like during the Progressive Era as many immigrants were moving in to United States as technology was advancing, how Jane Addams wanted to find a way to help the poor and how she would invite speakers such as John Dewey and Susan B. Anthony to Hull House to give public lectures.