Jane Addams

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Jane Addams
BirthplaceCedarville, Illinois, U.S.
Social and political activist, author and lecturer, community organizer, public intellectual
Education Bachelor of Social Work (BA, BSc or BSW) degree Socionom Master of Social Work degree (MA, MSc or MSW) Doctor of Social Work degree (Ph.D or DSW) International Association of Schools of Social Work Council on Social Work Education Schools of social work

Addams, Jane,

1860–1935, American social worker, b. Cedarville, Ill., grad. Rockford College, 1881. In 1889, with Ellen Gates Starr, she founded Hull House in Chicago, one of the first social settlements in the United States (see settlement housesettlement house,
neighborhood welfare institution generally in an urban slum area, where trained workers endeavor to improve social conditions, particularly by providing community services and promoting neighborly cooperation.
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). Based on the university settlements begun in England by Samuel BarnettBarnett, Samuel Augustus
, 1844–1913, English clergyman and social worker. As vicar of St. Jude's, Whitechapel, in the slums of London, he pioneered in the social settlement movement.
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, Hull House served as a community center for the neighborhood poor and later as a center for social reform activities. It was important in Chicago civic affairs and had an influence on the settlement movement throughout the country. An active reformer throughout her career, Jane Addams was a leader in the woman's suffragewoman suffrage,
the right of women to vote. Throughout the latter part of the 19th cent. the issue of women's voting rights was an important phase of feminism. In the United States

It was first seriously proposed in the United States at Seneca Falls, N.Y.
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 and pacifist (see pacifismpacifism,
advocacy of opposition to war through individual or collective action against militarism. Although complete, enduring peace is the goal of all pacifism, the methods of achieving it differ.
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) movements, and was a strong opponent of the Spanish-American War. She was the recipient (jointly with Nicholas Murray ButlerButler, Nicholas Murray,
1862–1947, American educator, president of Columbia Univ. (1902–45), b. Elizabeth, N.J., grad. Columbia (B.A., 1882; Ph.D., 1884). Holding a Columbia fellowship, he studied at Paris and Berlin, specializing in philosophy.
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) of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize. Her books on social questions include The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909), A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil (1912), and Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922).


See her autobiographical Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910) and The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House (1930); the selected works in The Jane Addams Reader (ed. by J. B. Elshtain, 2001); biographies by J. W. Linn, her nephew (1935), A. F. Davis (1973), G. Diliberto (1999), and L. W. Knight (2005); studies by D. Levine (1971) and J. B. Elshtain (2001).

Addams, Jane

(1860–1935) social reformer, pacifist; born in Cedarville, Ill. Raised in comfort by her widowed father, a state senator and abolitionist (he was a friend of Abraham Lincoln), she studied at the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania for a few months before spinal illness and a realization that she was not cut out to be a doctor led her to withdraw (1882). Disturbed by urban poverty and searching for meaningful work, she visited Toynbee Hall, a pioneering settlement house in London, which inspired her, with Ellen Starr, to found Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago (1889). She lived and worked out of Hull House for the rest of her life, developing educational, cultural, and medical programs for the community, while lobbying for improved housing, fair labor practices, and just treatment for immigrants and the poor. Hull House also had great influence beyond Chicago by both inspiring similar institutions in American cities and by training many individuals who became notable reformers. Addams herself was so far in advance of many Americans on social issues in her day that she was attacked by some as a subversive. A staunch supporter of women's suffrage, she served as vice-president of the National American Suffrage Alliance (1911–14). An unwavering pacifist, she was president of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (1919–35) and shared the Nobel Prize for Peace (1931). She lectured and published widely; her many books include Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910) and Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922).