Jane Addams Pushes Social Reform

  • Public-Policy Reform
  • 1895

In 1895, with the help of private philanthropy, Jane Addams published Hull House Maps and Papers, a collection of articles calling public attention to the Chicago housing and working conditions that her Hull House organization aimed to alleviate. Addams’s original mission was to defeat poverty and encourage assimilation through education, services, and counsel supplied by successful members of the community. Over the years, she shifted toward more collective and impersonal action. She pushed for legislation on housing regulations, law-enforcement issues, factory inspections, child labor, women’s suffrage, worker’s compensation, prostitution, international pacifism, and other topics. She took high-profile roles in the Progressive Party, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • Jean Bethke Elshtain, Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy (Perseus Books, 2002)
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