Excerpt from Jane Addams: A Heroine of the Progressive Movement
1 The Progressive Era was great period in American history during which social reformers sought to improve many of the ills
that plagued society. From the 1890s until the 1920s, leaders of the Progressive movement tackled issues such poor living
conditions, women’s suffrage, equality between the races, better working conditions, shorter work days, child labor laws, and
food and drug safety. One need not wonder why historians often refer to the Progressive Era as the “Age of Refonn Gane
Addams, the cofounder of one of the first settlement houses in the United States, was one of the many reformers w o strove to
make America a better place during the Progressive Era.
2 Born into : wealthy Illinois family, Addams received a good education including . a bachelor’s degree from what became
Rockford College for Women. She considered a career in medicine, but poor health forced her to leave her studies. At twenty-
seven, Addams traveled to London where she visited Toynbee Hall, a settlement house that provided important services to
underprivileged citizens. The visit encouraged her to act on an idea already forming in her mind. She wanted to open a similar
facility in a poor area of Chicago.
3 In 1889, Addams and her friend Ellen G. Starr opened Hull-House. The two quickly recognized the needs of the neighborhood of
they served. They obtained from wealthy local citizens and raised funds to expand Hull-House’s services. They nursed the
sick back to health. They started kindergarten classes for young children and taught night courses (similar to the continuing
education courses offered by colleges today) for adults. Over time, Addams and Starr added a public kitchen, a gymnasium, a
pool, a library, and an employment bureau.
in addition to Hull-House, Addams made other contributions to the Progressive movement. She worked to improve education
and even served on Chicago’s Board of Education. She supported the women’s suffrage movement, which worked to gain the
right to vote for women. Addams advocated peace and refused to support America’s entry into World War I. She could not
abandon her humanitarian ideals, however, and agreed to the war effort by supplying food and other necessities to women
and children in enemy countries.
5 As a result her efforts to improve the lives of others, Addams received a number of awards and honors. Perhaps the most
impressive of those, however, is the
Nobel Peace Prize, which she received in 1931.
Which MOST FULLY identifies the central idea of this source? Lo