Jane Addams and the Successful Hull House Essay

Jane Addams and the Successful Hull House Essay

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Jane Addams and her colleague, Ellen Gates Starr, founded the most successful settlement house in the United States otherwise known as the Hull-House (“Settlement” 1). It was located in a city overrun by poverty, filth and gangsters, and it could not have come at a better time (Lundblad 663). The main purpose of settlement houses was to ease the transition into the American culture and labor force, and The Hull-House offered its residents an opportunity to help the community, was a safe haven for the city, and led the way through social reform for women and children.
Laura Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois on September 6, 1860. Addams lost her mother to childbirth at the age of two, and her father, John Addams, was a prominent politician as the state senator of Illinois and friends with Abraham Lincoln. Addams attended Rockford Seminary at her father’s insistence to stay close and graduated valedictorian with the intention to work with the poor and study medicine (“About Jane” 1). Jane spiraled into depression when she abruptly lost her father in 1881, and she gave up her pursuit of studying medicine and traveled through Europe twice in six years. It was in London that Addams witnessed an auction of spoiled food that spurred her into social work. She was sickened by the sight of the poor eagerly bidding for garbage, and she hoped of establishing a settlement house in Chicago similar to the Toynbee Hall in London. When Addams discussed her plans to Ellen Gates Starr, a college friend, she was surprised Starr was interested. Together, they rented a mansion built by Charles Hull which was located on the west side of Chicago, and when the Hull-House’s doors opened, the neighborhood and Chicago were overrun by poverty (Lundb...


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"Hull House." Social Welfare History Project. SocialWelfareHistory.com, n.d. Web. 29 Jan.
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Johnson, Mary Ann. "Hull House." Hull House. Chicago Historical Society, n.d. Web. 26 Jan.
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Lundblad, Karen Shafer. "Jane Addams and Social Reform: A Role Model for the 1990s."
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"Settlement House Movement." Open Collections Program: Immigration to the US. The
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