Women's Role

Women were the driving force behind issues like alcohol, sexuality, health, and the care of the home. There were some major women who impacted a lot.

  • Jane Addams
    • Started the Hull House along with Ellen Gates Starr
    • Respected the immigrants but still encouraged them to become Americans
      • Attitude on that subject much more liberal than most reformers
        • Other reformers still saw immigrants as culturally and racially inferior
    • Troubled by the emerging sexual revolution
      • Frequently joined other reformers against prostitution and women's sexuality rise
      • Saw that a significant amount of immigrants were lured into prostitution as opposed to sweatshop labor
    • Fought against alcohol
    • Eventually got the prohibition started
  • Florence Kelley
    • 1893, Illinois governor John P. Altgeld named her state's chief factory inspector.
    • Investigations led to Illinois' first factory law
      • Prohibited child labor
      • Limited employment of women to eight hours a day
      • Authorized state to hire inspectors to enforce law
  • Julia Lathrop
    • Appointed State Board of Charities
    • Fought for improvements for care of the poor, handicapped, and delinquent.
  • Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge
    • Established the Department of Social Research at the University of Chicago
  • Alice Hamilton
    • Became first women doctor
    • Pioneered in the field of public health
  • Clubwomen
    • Thousands of women belonged to women's clubs
    • Self help organizations in which the women began taking on tasks of the reform
    • Worked on improvement for many things
      • Schools
      • Libraries
      • Playgrounds
      • Education for girls
      • Securing fire and sanitation codes for houses
    • Rose in popularity in black communities
      • Worked against sexuality and alcohol along with other topics
      • Often shared conservative ideas of other club women
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