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P • R • O • G • R • E • S • S • I • V • E


John D. Buenker
Historical Research and Narrative

The years between 1890 and 1920 were saturated with so many movements to "reform" society and to promote "progress" that historians have called that time period the Progressive Era. During that dynamic and complex era, Illinoisans from a wide variety of social, economic, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds struggled to adapt to life in a rapidly modernizing, industrializing, and urbanizing world. Their efforts spawned a sometimes confusing array of voluntary "reform" organizations, which usually carried over their various causes into the political arena, avidly campaigning for candidates favorable to their point of view, lobbying for laws embodying their programs, and serving in government agencies implementing that legislation. Crucial to that process were legions of "new women" who utilized these various crusades as "launching pads" into a public life denied to their mothers and grandmothers. At the same time, they used their newly emerging status and influence as leverage to change the world around them in socially beneficial ways for the most serious victims of rapid, massive change.

Jane Addams
Jane Addams


This second generation of female activists was the beneficiary of what historian Robyn Muncy has called the "transformation of the female experience" during the latter half of the nineteenth century. As such, they were able to break many of the bonds imposed upon women by a set of values variously known as the "Victorian imperative," the "cult of true womanhood," and the "doctrine of separate spheres"—notions that limited women's activities to family, home, and church, regarded public affairs as men's exclusive domain, and enjoined females to be passive, humble, subservient, and self-sacrificing. Most were the daughters of affluent, privileged families who were enriched through higher education; by the turn-of-the-century over one-third of all college students were women. Thus exposed to the wider world, they were unwilling to live solely in the private sphere and to play the role assigned to well-to-do matrons. Many of them sought fulfillment in such traditional female professions as nursing, teaching, and librarianship, while others embraced such newly emerging female professions as social work, public health nursing, home economics, or female-oriented medicine. As former University of Chicago historian Arthur Mann has declared, this new generation of feminists was "completely modern."

According to the nation's most celebrated "new woman"—social worker Jane Addams of Cedarville, Rockford, and Chicago—they were motivated by a "necessity" that was both "subjective" and "objective," both personal and social. The former involved a deep-seated need to seek personal fulfillment and enhanced social status by carving out an exclusive and indispensable niche in public life. The latter was the need to be a vital part of "an experimental effort to aid in the solution of the social and industrial problems" unleashed by "the modern conditions of life." Brilliantly transforming the restrictive doctrines of "true womanhood," the "Victorian imperative," and "separate spheres," they socially constructed the liberating concepts of "municipal housekeeping" or "social feminism." Utilizing these two notions, women were able to apply the tasks associated with the traditional roles of housewife and mother to a much wider "sphere" and to break down the wall of "separation" between private and public life. "Woman's place is Home," Rheta Childe Door insisted in What Eight Million Women Want, "but home is not contained within the


Social Settlement

four walls of an individual house. Home is the community." In their professional culture, new women combined such "masculine" values as expertise, efficiency, and objective analysis with such "feminine" traits as self-sacrifice, social service, and empathy for the less fortunate. Thus inspired, they built a national network of voluntary organizations with a virtual monopoly on concern for the welfare of women and children. They also broke new ground by lobbying government for powerful intervention into those same areas. In the process, they succeeded in carving out a highly influential sphere of public life that Muncy calls the "female dominion," and in playing a major role in the construction of what social historian Theda Skocpol has dubbed the "maternal welfare state."

It was in Illinois that two of the nation's most important "incubators" of the "new woman" were established during the 1890s: the University of Chicago Schools of Civics and Philanthropy and Social Science Administration and Hull House, the country's most famous social settlement. The former was one of the first institutions of higher learning in the country to train people specifically for such new professions as social work, public health, and home economics. Among its most important faculty members were Sophinisba Breckenridge and Edith and Grace Abbott. The former earned both a Ph.D. and a J.D. at the University of Chicago and taught there from 1904 to 1942, instructing two generations of social servants, producing meticulously researched studies of urban conditions, and participating in a wide variety of reform movements. The Abbott sisters, both proteges of Breckenridge, also practiced teaching, research, social work, and reform in a variety of combinations. At some point, all three of these new women resided at Hull House, the social settlement on South Halsted Street in Chicago founded in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. For more than forty years, Addams reigned as the most illustrious female reformer in the country, while Starr combined religious fervor, a love of art, and labor activism into a distinguished career. Over the years, Hull House's roster of resident social workers read like a "who's who" of new women, including Julia Lathrop, future head of the U.S. Children's Bureau, Dr. Alice Hamilton, pioneer researcher in occupational diseases, Florence Kelley, first head of the Illinois Bureau of Factory Inspection and founder of the National Consumers League (NCL), and Mary McDowell, first director of the University of Chicago Settlement and co-founder of the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL).

Located in the heart of a teeming immigrant neighborhood, Hull House was virtually the sole provider of social services to its working-class constituents. Among other things, it operated a day nursery, a free employment bureau, the city's first public playground, a cooperative living club for single working women, a public kitchen serving cheap meals, a cooperative coal association, and a wide variety of courses dealing with nutrition, housekeeping, child care, and prenatal education. Hull House sponsored ethnic folk fests at which immigrants displayed and sold their Old World arts and crafts. It also played host to labor unions, with the residents even walking the picket lines and organizing boycotts of uncooperative employers. Its residents were deeply involved in political campaigns and lobbied vigorously for legislation on all levels of government.

Hull House
Hull House
Florence Kelley
Florence Kelley


Through its aggressive campaign of "creative philanthropy," Hull House persuaded wealthy women to fund "fellowships" to help support its work and to pay for the education of young women preparing to take their place in the "female dominion." Along with the city's other social settlements, Hull House also provided practical training for hundreds of women and men who became reformers and social activists.

Despite their crucial roles as "incubators," the University of Chicago and Hull House clearly did not have a monopoly on the supply of "new women." Margaret Dreier Robins, co-founder of the WTUL, had been raised and educated in New York City and moved to Chicago in 1905 after marrying the head of the Northwestern University Settlement. She devoted most of her considerable energies to supporting female workers—in the workplace, on the picket line, and in legislative lobbies. Hannah Greenebaum Solomon, the daughter of German immigrants, devoted half a century to the Women's City Club, the Chicago and Illinois Federations of Women's Clubs (CFWC & IFWC), the Cook County Juvenile Court, and the Illinois Industrial School for Girls, and is best remembered as the founder of the National Council of Jewish Women. Ruth Hanna McCormick, daughter of a United States Senator and wife of a Congressman, was active in the causes of child labor, women's working conditions, and woman suffrage. A founder of the Illinois Progressive party in 1912, she later became the first woman in the nation to win a statewide election for Congress. Margaret Haley, born in Joliet of Irish-American parents and educated in public schools, functioned for nearly three decades as the chief lobbyist for the Chicago Teachers' Federation. She was also a major force in the WTUL and the Public Ownership League, and helped found the American Federation of Teachers. Although she lived in Illinois for only 12 of her 79 years, Mary Kenney O'Sullivan, the daughter of Irish immigrants and a full-time factory worker before she finished grammar school, made a lasting mark in the state as a labor organizer and state factory inspector. Even though she moved to Boston after her marriage, she maintained close ties to Jane Addams, Florence Kelley, and others through her activities in the WTUL, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and the League of Women Voters (LWV).

Ida Wells Barnett

May Wood Simons, raised in Wisconsin and educated at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, was a social worker, educator, journalist, and Socialist Party activist. After several years in Chicago, she returned to Evanston to teach at Northwestern and to play a leadership role in the Illinois LWV. Born into slavery in Mississippi, Ida Wells Barnett moved to Chicago in 1895 to carry on her career as a civil rights journalist and anti-lynching activist. She was a founder of the Illinois Negro Women's Club and the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago, worked as a probation officer, operated a social club to aid Southern migrants, and helped establish the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1910. Raised and educated in Iowa, Grace Wilbur Trout moved to Oak Park, where she was active in numerous civic organizations, especially the IFWC, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the IESA. In the latter role, she was instrumental both in the passage of the state's Equal Suffrage Law of 1913 and in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Binding these outstanding individuals to each other and to tens of thousands of other female activists was, in Robyn Muncy's words, an "interlocking set of organizations and agencies" that together constituted an "informal network of reformers." Many of these were national federations with state or local affiliates, such as the GFWC or the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Although the majority of these organizations had only female members, a significant number of them, such as the NCL or the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), united men and women in common cause. While the preponderance of their membership consisted of women from the middle and upper classes, some organizations, such as the WTUL and the Illinois Women's Alliance, brought together women of all social classes in a spirit of sisterhood.

One of the largest all-female organizations was the GFWC, which boasted eight million members and several thousand statewide and local affiliates by 1910. Begun as a series of local clubs devoted to the cultural and intellectual stimulation of leisure-class women, it evolved into a powerful lobbying group for a wide variety of measures designed to advance the welfare of women and children. Even larger and more militant


New Woman

was the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), headquartered in Evanston. While its primary focus remained on the control of alcoholic beverages, the WCTU gradually embraced a "do-everything" platform that included many other socioeconomic and political issues and embraced women of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds. The WTUL, with Mary Kenney O'Sullivan and Margaret Dreier Robins among its leaders, worked with the American Federation of Labor to unionize working women. Its members walked picket lines, raised strike funds, and organized demonstrations and boycotts, while lobbying for protective legislation for female workers. The Illinois branch of NAWSA and its offshoot, the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association (IESA), was among the largest, most active, and effective branches. Its large contingent of "new women" was highly instrumental in shifting its focus to "municipal housekeeping" as the primary justification for enfranchisement and in shedding the organization's elitist orientation by reaching out to working-class ethnics of both genders. Much of the state's landmark factory legislation of the 1890s and after was owed to the efforts of the Illinois Women's Alliance, a cross-class coalition of thirty unions and women's organizations. Many Illinoisans were also prominent in the Women's Joint Congressional Committee, which maintained a continuous presence in Washington advocating social welfare legislation. Also among the leaders were the Mothers' Congress (the forerunner of the Parent Teacher Association) and the Visiting Nurses Association, an influential force in the public health field.

At the same time, many of Illinois' "new women" made major contributions to several mixed-gender reform organizations. From 1909 to 1935, Jane Addams served as president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections ( NCCC), whose membership included nearly all of the nation's social settlement residents. The NCCC was a powerful advocate for state and national legislation regarding child labor, aid to mothers with dependent children, and unemployment and disability insurance. In 1899, Florence Kelley became the long-time executive secretary of the NCL, which crusaded effectively against inhuman working conditions for women and children by naming their employers on "white" or "black" lists and by lobbying for protective legislation. Both of those organizations had overlapping memberships with the NCLC and collaborated with it during its long-term campaign to eliminate or humanize child labor. Even closer to home was the role of several prominent Illinois women in the founding and operation of the Chicago-based Immigrants' Protective Agency (IPL). Foremost among them were Margaret Dreier Robins, Sophinisba Breckenbridge, and Grace Abbott, who served as the organization's executive secretary from 1908 to 1927. Under Abbott's leadership, the IPL provided "first aid" to arriving immigrants, protected them from exploitation, and crusaded for the establishment of a federal protective agency, public control of private employment agencies, and the creation of free public employment offices. It also published numerous studies challenging popular negative stereotypes concerning the character of immigrants.

Enmeshed in this national network of interwoven organizations, Illinois' "new women" were highly instrumental in the enactment of nearly all of the state and national legislation that constituted the foundations of America's "maternal welfare state" during the Progressive Era and after. First on the list was the Illinois Sweatshop Act of 1893, which seriously restricted child labor, limited the hours of female workers, and regulated working conditions in factories exploiting child and female labor, and which was enacted primarily through lobbying by the Illinois Women's Alliance. Although the state supreme court later invalidated the act's maximum hours provisions, the Alliance's member organizations spent the entire Progressive Era working to strengthen its scope and authority. Despite their persistent efforts, the Illinois legislature rejected numerous proposals to establish a minimum wage scale for women and children, even after the Vice Commission headed by Lieutenant Governor Barrett O'Hara in 1913 concluded that low wages were the major cause of women being forced into prostitution. A coalition including the WTUL, IFWC, NCL, NCCC and several other female organizations succeeded in gaining a women's hours act mandating a ten-hour day and a 54-hour week. Although a similar coalition pushed for further restrictions, aided by the report of the 1917 Illinois Industrial Survey, it failed to make any further progress. The WTUL, IFWC, and a coalition of social workers were the driving force behind the enactment of the Industrial Commission and Health, Safety and Comfort Act of 1909, which attempted to eliminate many of the defects in the Sweatshop Act of 1893. That law was


especially noteworthy for its provisions regarding hazardous machinery and safe and sanitary ventilation systems, and paved the way for the establishment of a Division of Factory Inspection in the newly created Illinois Department of Labor in 1917. The IFWC, ICL, the Mothers Congress, and the Juvenile Protective League were the most persistent advocates for strengthening of the state's child labor laws, achieving important gains in 1897,1903, and 1917. Illinois' pioneer Occupational Diseases Act of 1911 was the result of recommendations made by an appointed commission whose chief researcher was Alice Hamilton. The IPL, the WTUL, and Hull House were chiefly responsible for the 1899 law making Illinois the fifth state to provide a free employment bureau, a drive that produced additional offices in 1903,1909, and 1915. That same coalition also led the successful fight for the Private Employment Agency Act of 1909. Illinois "new women" were also in the forefront of efforts to provide for workmen's compensation, public health insurance, and old-age pensions.

Hull House boys
Hull House. Boys learning to make shoes.

These efforts of "social feminists" to protect women and children in the workplace paralleled their concern for the mother-child relationship in the home. In 1910, the IFWC, NCL, Mothers Congress, NCLC, and the WCTU were all vital elements in a broad-based coalition that succeeded in making Illinois the first major urban, industrial state to pass a Mothers' Pension Act. Although insufficient and flawed, this law and its analogs in other states, in the words of University of Illinois historian Mark H. Leff, constituted a "preliminary recognition of poverty as a public program requiring governmental remedies." Providing the constituency for the Women's Joint Congressional Committee, "social feminists" were largely responsible for the establishment of the Children's Bureau in the US Department of Labor in 1912. Led first by Julia Lathrop and then by Grace Abbott, the Bureau produced valuable studies on infant mortality, child labor, juvenile courts, mothers' pensions, illegitimacy, feeble-mindedness, rural child welfare, and recreation. During World War I, the Bureau made recommendations for governmental provision for the care of soldiers' dependents, compensation and insurance for military personnel, and aid to children of working mothers.

Cooperation between various private, voluntary organizations composed primarily of women and the Children's Bureau were the driving forces behind the two most important federal social welfare laws of the late Progressive Era: the Kern-McGillicuddy Child Labor Act of 1916 and the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infant Act of 1921. Although a conservative Supreme Court invalidated the former, Congress responded with a proposed child labor amendment to the U.S. Constitution that contributed significantly to the decline of that social evil, even though it was never ratified. The same confluence of organizations and values also was largely responsible for the establishment of the U.S. Women's Bureau in the Labor Department, which formulated and enforced federal policies regarding female workers. Along with a handful of statutes regarding the well-being of railroad workers and federal employees, these laws and agencies constituted the substance of U.S. welfare policy prior to the advent of the New Deal in the 1930s.

Moreover, it was this new generation of "social feminists" who finally succeeded in securing for women the right to vote. On the one hand, their philosophy of "municipal housekeeping" appealed to millions of men who were wary of earlier arguments based upon sexual equality, and who saw woman suffrage as an effective means to realize their own social agendas. On the other hand, the many achievements of "new women" in social welfare were positive proof that they were capable of functioning intelligently and effectively in the political arena. Led by Jane Addams, many "social feminists had played a key role in the formation and


operation of the Progressive Party in 1912," even though they themselves could not vote. As historian Steven Buechler has demonstrated, it was this "transformation of the woman suffrage movement" that enabled Illinois to become, in 1913, the first state east of the Mississippi River to allow women to vote, even on a limited basis. (In order to avoid the potential pitfalls of trying to adopt an equal suffrage amendment to the state constitution, its advocates agreed to settle for a statute mandating equal suffrage for all offices not created by that document.) The measure's success was due primarily to the efforts of the IESA, an organization dominated by younger "social feminists" who had acquired a high degree of political savvy from their many crusades for child and women's welfare. Seven years later, in 1920, those same women were the catalyst that allowed Illinois to become the first state officially recorded as ratifying the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Strengthened and encouraged by those successes, Illinois' "new women" played an even greater role in the development of America's "maternal welfare state" over the next two decades. In all that they did, these "new women" made giant strides toward true gender equality.


Tamerin Hayward


Main Ideas

Much of the progress of the Progressive Era was made by and because of women who involved themselves in various reform movements to aid other women, children, immigrants, minorities, and those oppressed by industrialization and urbanization. These women included Jane Addams, Mary McDowell, Julia Lathrop, Ruth McCormick, and Ida Wells Barnett. They ranged politically from a Socialist party activist to a DAR member and professionally from a factory inspector to a journalist and from a settlement house administrator to a researcher in occupational diseases. They shared both a new vision of the role of women in society and a conviction that women could improve the future.

Connection to the Curriculum

These materials are directed toward a high school U.S. History course, but they could easily be useful in a sociology or an American government course.

Teaching Level

Grades 9-12

Materials for Each Student

Each student should receive a copy of the article, "The Progressive Era in Illinois: 'Launching Pad' For 'New Women,'" individual copies of the assignments, and materials for the art project. This could be as simple as paper, colored pencils or markers, and paste, or as sophisticated as computer graphics. The choice will be based on the school's capabilities and the teacher's preference. There are several levels of difficulty and time allocation varies among the assignments. Which and how many of the assignments are used remain at the discretion of the teacher. Alternatively the students may be offered a range of grades depending on the number and difficulty of each assignment they undertake successfully.

Objectives for Each Student

• The student will be able to recognize the contributions and importance of women in securing the rights and privileges all people enjoy today.
• The student will learn about specific women who might serve as role models of political and social activism and reform.
• The student will discover the obstacles presented to reformers by those who wish to thwart such efforts.
• The student will observe the continuous progress made by the steady and unrelenting efforts of these reformers and connect those advances with present day reform efforts.


Opening the Lesson

A good opening for this lesson might be to recount or to read a brief incident from the life of one of the women to be studied. These can be found in the supplemental materials. The students will be assigned to read the narrative portion of the article followed by a brief discussion of their understanding of the term "new women."

I can


Developing the Lesson

• Depending on how the material will be used, the teacher may provide a grading scale and criteria for a contract style series of assignments. For example:

"C" is awarded for the successful completion of one of the matching exercises and the timeline.
"B" is awarded for the successful completion of the "C" work and the addition of the autobiographical sketch.
"A" is awarded for the successful completion of "B" work and the addition of the letter to the editor exercise.
Extra credit might be awarded for the art project.

• Alternatively the matching exercises on organizations and people and the timeline could easily be structured as paired exercises. If group work is undertaken, identical grades should be given to both students. These are merely suggestions and should be amended to fit the grade and the level of the class as well as the time the teacher wishes to spend on the subject matter.

• As the students are working, the teacher should be observing their efforts, offering suggestions and insights, and emphasizing the contributions made by these women to the present generation. The contributions the teacher might cite are safety regulations in industries, child labor laws, pensions, and women's right to vote. These can be done one-on-one as the students are continuing their work; and, if connected to the particular item on which they are working, will make a more lasting impression than a general lecture on the subject.

• All of the exercises in the unit of study can be completed successfully without the use of resources beyond the article provided. However, if time permits and the teacher chooses, the quote exercise, the autobiograpy, and the letters to the editor can easily be turned into small research projects in which the students use their previously acquired research skills.


Concluding the Lesson

In concluding the lesson, the teacher needs to encourage the students to look from the past to the present and even to the future. This can be done by connecting the goals, the obstacles, the initiatives, and the successes of reform movements of the past to those of the present and by extrapolation those of the future. Students should be drawn into a discussion in which they confront new problems with the problem-solving techniques they have studied. They should also recognize that much may be accomplished utilizing the same skills and strengths that reformers employed to address problems and overcome obstacles.

Extending the Lesson

Both the autobiography and the letters to the editor assignments may be extended into longer research/creative projects if the teacher so chooses. The autobiography of Jane Addams could be paired with an autobiography of a person of the late-twentieth century who is seen by the students as similar in outlook, accomplishments, and historical importance (Princess Diana or Mother Teresa, for example). The analogies the students could then draw from these paired biographies would serve to link the assignment to the present. After completing the letters to the editor project, the students could do a similar project on a current, or perhaps even a local, issue. This could serve to demonstrate to the students how crucial it is to understand the diversity of opinion on any issue if one is to seek public support for a solution.

Assessing the Lesson

The assessment of student interest and learning will vary with the techniques employed by the teacher. Several have already been suggested for group or contract-style learning. The most valuable assessment will come later when in other lessons and other settings the students display the knowledge they have learned and the insights that they have acquired to solve new problems and reach new goals.


Handout 1 - Women and Reform Organizations

In the hope of making society safe for its most vulnerable members, women involved themselves in many organizations. Match the following initials standing for reform organizations, unions, oversight committees, etc. with the descriptions of the groups which they represent.

1.  __ Affects how people choose products they wish to purchase

a) IPL

2.  __ Clubs for women in Illinois

b) VNA

3.  __ One of the largest labor unions in the United States

c) JPL

4.  __ Their purpose was to help black people to help themselves

d) AF of L

5.  __ They hoped to influence voters


6.  __ Worked to secure the right to vote for women in Illinois


7.  __ Honored the American Revolution


8.  __ Worked on women's suffrage on the national level


9.  __ Attempted to solve the problem of of child labor

i) AFT

10. __ Group who fought the use of alcoholic drinks

j) NCL

11. __ A teachers' union


12. __ Alliance of women's organizations

1) LWV

13. __ Offered medical care in your home


14. __ Dealt with charities and prisons

n) DAR

15. __ Prevented the oppression of immigrants


16. __ Prevented the abuse of young people

p) POL

17. __ Dealt with women's legislative issues


18. __ Disliked private property


19. __ Organization for ethnic and religious issues of Jews

s) IWA

20. __ Dealt with the formation of trade unions in industries employing women


Key on bottom of page 24


Handout 2 - Women and Their Accomplishments

Some of the most notable women reformers of the nineteenth century worked for their causes within the state of Illinois. Their lives, struggles, and accomplishments insure them a place in the history of the state and the nation. Match their names with their positions or accomplishments.

1. __ Founder of Hull House and Nobel Peace Prize winner

a) Grace Wilbur Trout

2. __ First head of the Illinois Bureau of Factory Inspection

b) May Wood Simons

3. __ First director of the University of Chicago Settlement and co-founder of the WTUL

c) Jane Addams

4. __ Head of the U.S. Children's Bureau

d) Ruth H. McCormick

5. __ Researcher into occupational diseases

e) Ida Wells Barnett

6. __ Founder of NCJW and involved with the Illinois Industrial School for Girls

f) Julia Lathrop

7. __ A founding member of the Illinois Progressive Party

g) Florence Kelly

8. __ Socialist party activist and member League of Women Voters

h) Hannah G. Solomon

9. __ Journalist who helped to establish the NAACP and Illinois Negro Women's Club

i) Alice Hamilton

10. __ Member DAR, IFCW, IESA and assisted in securing
Illinois' ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment

j) Mary McDowell

Key on bottom of page 24

Jane Addams
Jane Addams
Florence Kelly
Florence Kelly


Handout 3 - Create a Quote

Using the information in the article, create at least one quote from each of five of the women listed in Handout 2. These are not to be factual, but should reflect the real actions, motives, and theories of these women. These quotes could be anything from campaign slogans to comments made to friends and associates to journal entries made in their own diaries. Be inventive and have fun!

KEY to Handout 1, p. 22

1. J   2. H   3. D   4. O   5. L   6. G   7. N   8. M   9. K   10. T
11. I   12. S   13. B   14. F   15. A   16. C   17. E   18. P   19. Q   20. P

KEY to Handout 2, p. 23

1. C   2. G   3. J   4. F    5. I    6. H   7. D   8. B   9. E   10. A


Handout 4 - Timeline

Create a timeline of at least 10 entries beginning with the year 1889 and ending in the year 1921. These entries should reflect legislation passed; commissions, committees, and bureaus created; and charitable organizations founded. There may be more than one entry for any single year.



Handout 5 - Jane Addams

Jane Addams

Jane Addams is one of the best-known women in American history, noted for the founding and administration of Hull House as well as her work in the areas of reform, women's rights, and the peace movement. Write a brief autobiographical sketch in the persona of Jane Addams, who is writing the sketch at the request of a local Chicago newspaper for an article celebrating Hull House's anniversary. See how much information you can discover from the materials provided to you.


Handout - Write Letters to the Editor

Create a set of letters to the editor regarding one of the issues discussed in the article. These issues include women's suffrage, child labor, industrial safety, and the oppression of immigrants and ethnic and racial minorities. Your letters to the editor should reflect a variety of opinions and information on the issue you have chosen. The specific details may be created, but the viewpoints expressed should be well argued and logical. The letters should point out the obstacles to reform such as ethnic prejudices, sexism, racism, and profit motive.



Handout 7 - Traditional Views Change

There, there,


Throughout history women's activities had been limited to family, home, and church by values such as those identified as the "Victorian imperative," the "Cult of true womanhood," and the "Doctrine of separate spheres." Not only did this prevent women from taking their rightful place in history, but the world lost vast resources of creativity and talent.

In a logical argument using the evidence provided for you in the narrative portion of the article, explain why this traditional view had to be changed.


Handout 8 - Create a Political Poster

Political activists have always understood the worth of pictures in their campaigns to change traditional viewpoints and attitudes. Create a political poster in favor of women's suffrage and a second against child labor. Use your imagination and creativity to get this important message across to your target audience, namely the voters who can bring about change.




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