The Hull House and Other Achievements Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:06:56
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The Hull house was constructed in 1856 for Charles Hull. It originally had a factory, furniture store, and home for the elderly. Despite rumors that part of the house is haunted, Jane, together with her friend Ellen Starr, rented it to provide a center for higher civic and social life, to institute and maintain education and philanthropic enterprises, and to investigate and improve the conditions in the individual districts of Chicago. (Lundblad, 1995) In an aim to make the house a place where idealism ran high (Addams, 1910, p.

101) Addams devoted the place to educating lowly people”those who worked in factories, who essentially came from different cultural backgrounds. In the house, the teachers read Hawthorne, George Eliot, and other literary works. Additionally, they taught the neighborhood music and theater, so as to provide the workers an escape from the daily hardships encountered. Later on, the house included an employment bureau, and was designed to be a center not just for the poor but also for the rich to gather together.

At first, Addams was mainly in charge of everything, but later on, she delegated the work to others in order to raise more funds. Because of her strong influence among the higher class, she gained the support of the three wealthy women in Chicago, who did not only believe in what she promoted, but also took interest in her projects. Thus, by 1910, about seventy people lived in the house and it was said that at a time, more than two thousand people came everyday.

Even though Addams motives were primarily for the benefit of the people, there were those who criticized her for her strong belief in peace. She was considered a deviant during the World War I and was expelled from an organization called the Daughters of American Revolution because of her protest against war and Americas participation to it. In addition, she supported the American Union Against Militarism, and attended the Womens Peace Party where she was elected as its national chairman.

She also took part in International Womans Conference in Hague where she was chosen to head the commission that sought to put an end to war. In this undertaking, she met with ten leaders of other countries, and their effort was recognized as the first international effort by women against war. (Johnson, ed. , 1960, XI) In 1919, Addams was chosen as the American delegate for the second Womens Peace Conference, from which the Womens International League for Peace and Freedom began. She was elected as the first president of this league, and served as its president until her death.

Among other services she rendered was supplying food and other needs to the women and children of the opposing side”a work she wrote about in Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922). Moreover, she also worked for the welfare of the poor, fought for factory inspection, working hours for women workers, schooling for children, and establishment of labor unions. Furthermore, she also helped establish the juvenile court in 1899, thus by 1920, there were only three states which did not have juvenile courts.

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