Jane_Addams_417967 - Jane Addams: Jane Addams Jane Addams...

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Jane Addams ©2011 eNotes.com, Inc. or its Licensors. Please see copyright information at the end of this document. Form and Content In Jane Addams: Pioneer for Social Justice , Cornelia Meigs creates a biography and a social history of the United States. The book documents the life of Addams, interwoven with the political and social changes of her time. Her founding of Hull-House was the catalyst for many changes in the lives of the poor in Chicago. Meigs introduces the women surrounding Addams and chronicles their achievements in order to create a historical narrative of the labor movement in the United States. The first two chapters relate Addams’ childhood and education. The remaining chapters focus on Hull-House and the wide-ranging effects of the Hull-House idea. Using narrative form, Meigs tells the history of changes in labor laws and in the judicial system—lasting changes—originally based on Addams’ ideas. Jane Addams also presents a picture of the women who were drawn to Addams—educated women determined to live lives of service, not of leisure. The author stresses the importance of these little-known women, who laid the foundation for the re- forms that improved the lot of thousands of underprivileged people. The book describes their individual skills and follows them as some leave Chicago to lead reforms in other cities. Meigs describes Addams’ overriding concern for the welfare of young adults and her shock at the working conditions of children in the decade before 1900, which led Addams to interfere with industrialists in an effort to better working conditions. Through Hull-House, she introduced fun into the young people’s lives. Meigs describes the problems encountered in the Work and Factory Law of 1893, which was struck down soon after its enactment yet which remained a catalyst for permanent changes in the child labor laws. She also details the groundwork that the women of Hull-House laid to force changes in the way that underage offenders were dealt with in the judicial system. Meigs also shows how national events played a role in the progress of Addams’ reforms and details the circumstances surrounding the assassination of President William McKinley and how they touched Addams.
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Jane_Addams_417967 - Jane Addams: Jane Addams Jane Addams...

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