Children and Immigrant Welfare: Grace Abbott

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Grace Abbott is most known for her work in children’s welfare and immigrant welfare. Throughout her life the importance of general equality had always been enforced. With this, plus her knowledge of women’s suffering, she made it her life’s work to make the lives of women, children and immigrants better. She managed to make the lives of hundreds of people better during the end of the Gilded Age as a social worker. Abbott did not start out her working life as a social worker; she actually started out as a high school teacher and taught for eight years. While she was teaching she was also going to school to get an undergraduate degree. She first went to school at Nebraska University in 1902, and then two years later she went to school again at Chicago University. In 1907 Abbott moved to Chicago where she later became a resident of the Hull House. Here she met Jane Addams someone she was closely associated with, she also gained her doctorate in political science while living at the Hull House. While living at the Hull House Abbott witnessed firsthand how women, children, and immigrants were treated in a major city. While still living at the Hull House Abbott formed the Immigrants’ Protective League (IPL) with Sophonisba Breckinridge. This protective league led to many advances for immigrants, these advances where truly important because of the increase of immigrants traveling to America during the Gilded Age. One major success of the IPL was protection from ship and railroad companies that the immigrants relied on to get them to their destinations safely that took advantage of them. Abbott also improved the conditions at Ellis Island by inspecting it regularly and using undercover league members to go through the island and on boats used by the companies. Abbott believed that the United States Government was to blame as well as the companies because they did not take precautions to make sure the boats where supplying adequate conditions for the passengers. She...
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