Chapter 21 Summary

Chapter 21 Summary - Introduction This chapter begins with...

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Introduction This chapter begins with the story of Jane Addams, who in 1889 founded a settlement house,  Hull House, in Chicago. Addams was attempting to help immigrants and also give educated  women like herself meaningful work. In the twenty years that followed, she and the others who  ran it developed Hull House into a vital force within their community. It became a multipurpose  center of activity: from restaurant to nursery, educational institution to labor museum. Addams's  work in the community led her to seek assistance from city hall, and then from the state capital,  and finally from Washington, D.C., where she became a strong advocate of woman suffrage and  an expanded role for the federal government. Significantly, her path from personal action at the  community level to political activism at the federal level personified a pattern that defined the  Progressive Era of the early twentieth century—the 1890s to World War I. Against the backdrop  of the tumultuous 1890s, progressive reformers shared common concerns about the power of  wealthy individuals and corporations, especially the trusts, and the problems endemic to the new  industrial age. Though their motivations varied, progressives united around a willingness to utilize  an active federal government to curb the excesses of industrial capitalism and ameliorate the  inequities it helped to produce. In doing so, progressives redefined American liberalism, which  had long feared the potential tyranny of a powerful centralized government.  Grassroots Progressivism, pp. 749-755   Progressivism was a grassroots movement that percolated upward into local, state, and national  politics. The majority of progressives were middle-class urban professionals who wanted to solve  the problems of American cities. Civilizing the City   The cities became a focal point of the progressive movement. Progressives wanted them to  become safer and healthier places to live. The attack came on several fronts. The settlement  house movement, which began in England, put well-educated women in the role of social  workers, tending to the various needs of the ethnically diverse big-city populations. Churches also  attacked social problems of the cities through the "social gospel"—a mission to reform society as  well as the individual. Christian clergy began to argue against the "gospel of wealth" in favor of  Christianizing capitalism. Church leaders also spearheaded the social purity movement, which  emphasized cleaning up the urban evil of prostitution. This drive often was accompanied by calls  for the prohibition of alcohol, a campaign that demonstrated a strain of nativism as progressives 
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Chapter 21 Summary - Introduction This chapter begins with...

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