Wikipedia are discussed. She has inspired me and

 

 

 

 

Wikipedia “Hull House” Web. 7 Dec 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_House

 

Butler, Nicolas, “Jane Addams –
Biographical”. Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 9 Dec 2017. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1931/addams-bio.html

 

Addams, Jane, “Peace and Bread in Time of War.” New
York, Macmillan, 1922.

 

Addams, Jane, “Newer Ideals of Peace.” New York,
Macmillan, 1907.

 

 

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            Jane Addams led the charge on many things that helped
shape America during one of its most instrumental stages.  Her efforts had a direct effect on women’s
rights, the educational system in Chicago, the development of her community,
American wars, etc.  Some of the personal
struggles of inner city Chicago were recognized and prioritized because of her
efforts and passion for helping other people. 
Women began being viewed as benefits to society and not just kitchen
utensils.  Blacks eventually gained equal
rights, and some of the systems that were created as a result of the blue
prints Miss Addams laid as a foundation led to educational and employment
opportunities, as well as many other benefits that Blacks and all Americans
still enjoy today.  Her inspirations
seemed to be solely the improvement of the people around her.  Jane’s opinion on helping others and her
empathetic view of those people affected most by their surroundings lead to her
pretty much developing the blue print for philanthropy, charity, public
assistance as well as many other things. 
Jane Addams should be considered an American hero in every regard, and
should be honored and recognized with all those other names that are brought up
when things like change, freedom, civil rights, protest, charitable
contributions, and other things that helped to shape America’s foundation are
discussed.  She has inspired me and has
undoubtedly moved near the top of my American Hero list!

            Her charity certainly reached beyond the Hull House and
serving the poor in Chicago.  She was
instrumental in creating sociology and social work as a profession.  She coined the idea that playgrounds and
parks would help ease the tension in urban areas, and help frustrated people be
more peaceful.  She almost was
instrumental in the development of the welfare system that we still use until
this very day.  One her of many achievements
that impacted me directly is that she was a major ingredient in the creation of
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Being Black and a woman I can’t help being
appreciative for her compassion for people that looked nothing like her,
helping to develop benefits for these people that she herself would never be
able to take advantage of.  In my opinion
that is the holistic definition of American heroism.  Not acting on selfish ambitions and creating
systems for yourself and people that are representative of you but doing things
for other people solely because its right.

            Today the Hull House is open in part to the public as a
museum.  In its heyday the Hull House had
grown to 13 buildings, most of which were demolished to make room for
educational buildings at the University of Illinois.  Only 2 buildings of the once 13 survive
today, one building being the original acquisition purchased from Charles Hull
in 1889.  In 1965 the home was officially
designated as a National Historic Landmark by the United States of
America.  The following year the National
Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was enacted, listing the Hull House on the
National Register of Historic Places preserving what was left of it fully.  Perhaps the most amazing fact about what Jane
Addams started in in 1889 is that the Hull House finally ceased operations in
2012.  Over 123 years of service to the
public of Chicago, and grew to over 500 settlement houses nationally.  Although the Hull House was dedicated to the
settlement of European immigrants it was instrumental in developing housing
services for the residents of Chicago and Jane Addams did several different
things to help advance the lives of many citizens, especially women, and Blacks.

            She eventually suffered a heart attack in 1926 from which
she never fully recovered.  After
regaining the respect of the public, she won the Noble Peace Prize in
1931.  Jane died in 1935 after a surgery
revealed she had cancer.  Her service was
held in the courtyard at the Hull House, as a reminder of all the hard work and
charity she dedicated to this staple of American history.

Another
one of the other major factors I feel that led to her not being widely
discussed as an American hero is much of her work was dedicated to people of
color.  During this time racial tensions
in America were very high.  Things like
Emancipation Proclamation, Segregation, and Jim Crow Laws helped to create tension
filled relationships between Blacks and Whites in America.  Jane being a White woman and being willing to
stand beside Blacks during a time of racial alliance is what I feel assisted in
her being vilified and reduced.  However,
she did eventually regain her reputation as a positive influence on American
society and continued to effect change all over the country.

            Her stance on World War I and how America should not be a
part of it earned her a none favorable reputation with Americans.  The press spoke out against her, helping to
shape her image as none patriotic.  She
was expelled from the Daughters of the American Revolution, an organization
dedicated to women who sought to change the way women were being viewed and
treated in America.  This is one of the
things I feel led to Jane not being widely discussed as one of America’s key
components in developing into a land of equal opportunity for male and female,
rich and poor, and Black and White.   Because of the press printing biased opinions
of her having the courage to speak out against war during a time where it was
seen as anti-American to do so, she was somewhat black balled and even erased
from important committees and issues that she helped to develop. 

            One of Jane’s major aspirations was to rid the world of
war, which she outlined in a series of lectures at the University of Wisconsin,
that later became a book called New
Ideals of Peace.  She was an advocate
for peace, speaking out at several ceremonies, and even speaking against
America’s entry into World War I.  In
1915 she was appointed chairman of the Women’s Peace Party, and served as
official president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
until 1929, and honorary president for the rest of her life for all her efforts
and advocacy for peace.  

            Jane’s reputation continued to grow along with her civic
responsibility.  She was appointed to
Chicago’s Board of Education in 1905, and shortly after was made chairman of
the School Management Committee.  In 1908
she helped found the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy and became the first
woman president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections.  She was instrumental in caring for the
community in which she lived, even at one point accepting the official post of
garbage inspector of the Nineteenth Ward. 
She received the first ever honorary degree awarded to a female from
Yale University in 1910.  She was one of
the first to argue the point of women having a right to vote, which was granted
in 1920 but she believed women should make their voices heard in legislation,
and should generate aspirations, and search out opportunities to realize them
long before an amendment granted women voting rights. 

            Jane Addams, was born September 6, 1860 in Cedarville
Illinois.  She was next to the youngest
of nine brothers and sisters.  Her father
was a prosperous local politician who served as a state senator for sixteen
years.  He also fought in the Civil War,
and was a personal friend and pen pal to Abraham Lincoln himself.  The two even had a special tag they would use
to begin each letter they sent to one another. 
Jane was not a very playful child due to a congenital spinal
defect.  She had surgery later in life to
remedy her spinal difficulty, but she still remained somewhat anti robust after
her surgery.  Jane Addams graduated the
valedictorian of her class from a none accredited college called Rockford
Female Seminary in 1881.  Because of her
school not being an accredited university, she didn’t receive her bachelors
degree until the following year when the college officially became Rockford
College for Women, a fully accredited university.  After graduation the next few years of Jane’s
life was particularly exciting.  She
spent a number of years studying medicine but opted to leave it behind due to
poor health because of the before mentioned spinal defect, which caused her to
be hospitalized regularly.  She traveled
and studied in Europe for nearly 2 years and spent the following 2 years becoming
an expert on reading and writing, while contemplating what her future
objectives should be.  Everything came to
fruition during a second tour to Europe, shortly after her 27th
birthday, and with her friend Ellen G. Starr. 
They visited a settlement house called Toynbee Hall, in London’s East
End when Jane got the idea to open a similar house in an underprivileged area
of Chicago, Illinois.  In 1889 Jane
Addams and Ellen Starr leased a large home built by Charles Hull that later became
known as the “Hull House” with a mission statement that read, “To provide a
center for a higher civic and social life; to institute and maintain
educational and philanthropic enterprises and to investigate and improve the
conditions in the industrial districts of Chicago.”  Both women made speeches, raised money,
brought in other prominent women, and nursed the sick.  By the second year of its existence the Hull
House grew in popularity and became host to over two thousand people a
week. 

What
does it take to be considered an American hero? 
Most people would say things like; selflessness, charity, the ability to
save lives, and affect those lives positively, a sense of love and compassion
for people and the communities they live in, the willingness to change the
world, speaking out against things that are viewed as wrong, and many other
things can certainly be added to that list. 
Most people would be correct, but some of those heroic attributes can
also force the public to have a less than favorable view of you.  Having the courage to stand up against the
majority can be dangerous and can also create a reputation of being none
patriotic, and deem you unpopular.  This
leads to what I feel is one of the key ingredients that most, if not all,
American hero’s share, and that’s popularity. 
Unfortunately to be considered a hero in American society I feel most
times you must be known, and although this isn’t necessarily a negative
attribute it can certainly complicate things. 
For instance, these days athletes receive more attention and a larger
fan base than those men and women who put their lives on the line and fight for
America in its wars.  In my opinion those
who live in die in name of American freedom should be the ones who receive the
spot light, and the attention from fans, but unfortunately most times that’s
not the case.  If an army veteran and an
NBA basketball star were standing right next to each other, most times the
athlete would be hounded for autographs while that veteran received little to
no attention.  Often times those who do
more to positively affect our country and its citizens receive little to no
notoriety and therefore sometimes they can be over looked and forgotten about
when conversations about American hero’s come up.  Also having the courage to be a hero in the
first place might earn you a first-class ticket to biased opinions and leave
you with a reputation that may be seen as negative at the time, but deemed as
instrumental and necessary later.  I feel
societies misconceptions about heroism, and Jane Addams’ courage to go against
the grain is what led to her not being a mainstay in American History. It shocked
me when I learned about Jane Addams and all the things she had done to
positively affect her community and more importantly our entire country.  I must admit before this assignment I had no
idea who she was, and to make sure Jane Addams wasn’t someone I accidently
glanced over in the history books, I asked a few people if they were familiar
with Miss Addams and her works, and no one seemed to recall this charitable
woman.  This shocked and motivated me at
the same time.  Of course, in school we
learn about American hero’s that helped shape the fabric of our great country such
as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Ford,
Malcom X, among many others, but I could not get over how someone such as Jane
Addams had not been regularly discussed in my childhood education.  Mine and my peers lack of knowledge about
this American hero made me want to learn as much as I possibly could about Jane
Addams and provide some insight into who she was, what she accomplished, and
why I feel she was somewhat forgotten.  In
this paper I will discuss Jane Addams in detail, as well as some of her
accomplishments.  I will illustrate how
her accomplishments affected America and its people.  I will also talk about why I feel she’s not
more widely discussed, and lastly, I will give my opinion about Ms. Addams and
her works.