Jane Addams was a pioneer, American settlement worker, a founder of the Hull House in Chicago, a public philosopher (the first American woman to be given that title), an author, a pacifist and a feminist leader.
In September of 1889, Ellen Gates Starr and her founded the Hull House in Chicago. She used Hull House to keep families safe and to improve community and societal conditions. Ellen and Jane developed three ethnic principles for social settlements: to teach by example, to practice cooperation and practice social democracy. The Hull House group became involved in city- and state-wide campaigns for better housing, improvements in public welfare, stricter child-labor laws and protection of working women. In 1912, Jane helped found the Progressive Party, a political party created by a split in the Republican Party in the presidential election of 1912.
Jane Addams saw democracy, social justice and peace as mutually enforcing. She believed they all had to advance together to achieve any one. She became an anti-war activist in 1899. She was a leader at the International Congress of Women at The Hague in Holland in 1915. She also presided as the president at the first meeting of the Women International League for Peace and Freedom in Zunich, Switzerland in 1919. In 1931, she won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Jane Addams stressed that women had a civic duty to become involved in municipal affairs as a matter of civic housekeeping. She argued that women are trained in the delicate matters of human welfare and need to build upon their traditional roles of housekeeping to be civic housekeepers. She led the Garbage Wars in 1894 and became the first women appointed as sanitary inspector of the Chicago 19th Ward. With the help of the Hull House, over 1,000 health department violations were reported which reduced death and disease.
Jane Addams died of cancer on May 21, 1935. In her lifetime, she wrote 12 books and over 500 essays, speeches and other works....
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