Eve Greater 11/30/12 Persuasive Historical Essay In the early 20th century, many social and political movements demanded the attention and action of the United States.During this time, Jane Addams became an accomplished philosopher, author, peace advocate, feminist and sociologist during the Progressive era, who was unique from other reformers during this time because she didn’t prioritize the social, economic, and political inequalities that plagued America’s minorities; Every issue was important and she proposed her beliefs on coexistence through a pacifist attitude that helped pave the way to the accomplishment of many successful abort and social reform movements because the actions she took to promote change ignited an awareness among middle class America that wasn’t there before, thus making her a central figure for the many rights that passed through the legislature. As far as philosophy goes, Pragmatism was a new and popular theory supported by many philosophers in the late 1 ass’s.
In basic terms, the theory states that if a solution or answer doesn’t always apply to the same issue, then that answer or solution wasn’t the absolute truth; it wasn’t really a true solution or answer.
Philosophers worldwide supported his term; however, a vast majority made a few tweaks to reshape its original definition. An example of this is John Dewey, who coined the term instrumentalist (Encyclopedia, pig. 1). He, along with philosopher Jane Addams, believed that ideas are the instruments that guide our actions, which have the power to change the world, and that the value of our ideas shouldn’t be measured by the truth of them, but by the success that comes from the action (Hamilton, pig. 1).In other words, success should be measured by our actions, not necessarily from our thoughts. Together they redefined necromancy in terms of pragmatism and civic activism, with more of an emphasis on duty and less on rights (Hamilton, pig.
1). Jane Addams applied her philosophical beliefs by constructing her own three ethical principles, with partner Ellen Starr, which consisted of the following: “Teach by Example, Practice cooperation, and practice social democracy, that is, egalitarianism or democratic social reforms across class lines” (Graham, pig. 1). Jane Addams interpreted this philosophy by taking action to promote peace using her pacifist ideals as a beacon to promote others to end wars.She felt that war as “a complete regression in human social evolution” and openly opposed America joining in the World War 1 of 1914 by organizing the Women’s Peace Party and the International Congress of Women (Shoot, pig. 1) . After publicly announcing that she’d observed soldiers in Europe being plied with alcohol before charging into battlefield, many newspapers in New York criticized her efforts at attaining an antiwar society and labeled her a socialist, communist, and anarchist (Shoot, pig.
1). One Newspaper quoted her as “a silly, vain, impertinent old maid, who may have done good charity work at the Hull House, Chicago, but is now meddling with matters far beyond her comprehension” (Shoot, pig. 1).Many of her radical pacifist friends deserted her at this time due to embarrassment or fear of being shunned, but Addams held on and made her pleas heard, which is what made her such a key figure during the Women’s Suffrage movements in the early 20th century Unlike some feminists during this time, Addams didn’t feel that women were better than men, but equal. Her main goal was to promote equality in the political and social world that had always been known as the biggest barrier between he sexes. During a speech at the Chicago Political Equality League in 1897, Addams stated that “l am not one of those who believe – broadly speaking – that women are better than men.We have not wrecked railroads, nor corrupted legislatures, nor done many unholy things that men have done; but then we must remember that we have not had the chance?’ (Hewitt, pig.
1). She didn’t define equal as just having the right to vote, but by also having the option of choice in every aspect a man does; marriage, career field, representation in US legislature, education, etc. Addams was also an advocate f birth control, which many other female suffragists, such as Elizabeth Stanton, didn’t promote (Hewitt, pig. 1). Many feminists didn’t advocate contraception, but rather abstinence or a woman’s right to refuse sexual relations with her husband.She also went as far as to publish the novel, A New Conscience and An Ancient Evil (191 2), which highlighted the effects of lousy safety regulations, such as poor women being forced into prostitution (Hewitt, pig. 1).
Likewise, the foundation of Addams Hull House in the slums of Chicago affected women in the area positively because it allowed them the option to choose a different life than the norm. Women could come live at Hull-House and help play an active role in reforming the surrounding community through discussions and even speeches educating others. This tactic spread like wild fire, as more and more women followed this example and used their voice to draw awareness to the many concerns that men tended to overlook in the voting world.Because of her strong will and driven stride pertaining to a coexisting society, Addams became one of the best sociologists of her time. Compared to other sociologists during the early 20th century, Jane Addams wasn’t simply unique because she was a woman, but also because she urged change through deeds of generosity that didn’t provide any benefits to her specifically, but to everyone in society. Almost all sociologists in the late 19th century were strictly male, and many of them were referred to as “Chair Theorists” because they’d literally sit in a chair and study a society, all in an attempt to reach some sort of resolution as to why a society functions the way it does (Krebs, pig. 1).
A prime example of this is Karl Marx, who created the conflict theory (Krebs, pig. 1).Although he made some interesting points on society, he didn’t actually do anything to improve the yester, unlike Addams, who supported social reform issues including women’s rights, ending child labor, and the mediation during the 1910 Garment Workers’ Strike (Fitzgerald, pig. 1). Addams defined her sociological ideas with the combination of symbolic interactions, popular theories of cultural feminism, and pragmatist instrumentalist (Fitzgerald, pig. 1). She also worked with other reform groups toward goals including the first juvenile- court law, tenement-house regulation, the eight-hour working day for women, factory inspection, and workers’ compensation to help the lives of others Fitzgerald, pig.
1).In addition, she strove for the justice of immigrants and blacks by financing the Hull House and supporting NAACP, and also advocated research aimed at determining the causes of poverty and crime, and alas supported women suffrage (Betties, pig. 1). Some of the projects that the members of the Hull House opened were the Immigrants’ Protective League, the Juvenile Protective Association, the first juvenile court in the United States, and a Juvenile Psychopathic Clinic (Betties, pig. 1). By using her sociological background as a tool, Addams went out to set an example for the utter treatment of immigrants, children, and women as an overall goal to attain world peace.Contradictory too many other charities with similar goals of helping the poor, Addams made a true difference for immigrants by founding a nonreligious settlement house, writing books with a description of the life of the poor such as Twenty Years at Hull House (191 0), educating immigrants, and by getting all classes of society involved with the unresolved health and safety issues of the poor and working class (Biography, pig.
1). The quote that best sums up Addams lifestyle is “Be the change you wish to see in he world” (Gandhi), which is exactly what she did. Like I stated in the previous paragraph, Addams helped acquire immigrants and children legal rights in the work field, however, the good deeds didn’t stop there; she also personally showed immigrants how to survive in a foreign country.The foundation of the first settlement house in America with partner Ellen G Starr was one example of this because it provided food, shelter, schooling to children, medical attention, English classes, and therapy sessions for free to the immense poor population residing in the Chicago slums (Biography, pig. 1). Addams even went as far as to become the garbage inspector of the 1 9th ward because the health regulations surrounding the area were so poor (Biography, pig. 1).
Inevitably, her generous example sparked the involvement of many respectable middle class women who volunteered at the Hull House to become hands-on educated about the horrors of how the immigrant population functioned. By getting the people involved, the government became more quickly aware of the filthy and unjust conditions, and began to start taking legal action with the support of the president, Theodore Roosevelt (Biography, pig. 1).Jane Addams example was immensely successful in contributing to a peaceful and equal society because she inspired humanity to strive towards coexistence through a pacifist, compressible attitude. Without her example, many of the average Americans wouldn’t have been involved in promoting change for equality because many other reformers were extreme in their tactics to acquiring their own desired outcomes. Because of Jane Addams, many of the health, work, and equal rights laws were brought to the attention of the legislature more effectively and had she not of been around, they might not have been given the due credit that was desperately deserved.