Browse Exhibits (4 total)

National History Day: Innovation in History

Paige Drews

The Jane Addams Digital Edition, in association with the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the Jane Addams Papers Project and the Teacher Education Program at Ramapo College, invite you to use this guide when brainstorming for National History Day.

History has always provided occasions for innovation.  When people wanted goods from another country, they found new, faster routes over land and water.  When farmers wanted to increase production, they created efficient machines like the plow. When citizens needed to communicate across the world, telegraphs, telephones and eventually email would link them.  Whatever the problem, humanity has been able to create a solution.

One of the most innovative solutions arose from the the Progressive Era of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  People living in this time faced issues from multiple sources: rapid industrialization brought farmers and immigrants to the cities in search of work.  This influx of people sent urban populations skyrocketing. People already living in cities felt pressured by all the new faces, but they were especially threatened by the arrival of immigrants.  Native-born Americans eyed their new neighbors with suspicion, fearing they would take away jobs due to their willingness to work for any price. In response to the overwhelming problems of the time, the settlement movement took shape.  Wealthy men and women turned houses in the poorest neighborhoods into havens for those living in cities. They provided advice and educational services for factory workers, recreation for children and social gatherings for immigrants and nonimmigrants to reconcile their differences.

Settlement houses strived to comfort and to bring hope to everyone they served, and no house accomplished this better than Jane Addams’s Hull House.  Founded in 1889, Addams quickly expanded her settlement to be one of the largest in the country, totaling thirteen buildings. Each building housed new and innovative programs for poor such as soup kitchens, a public bath and extracurricular classes for neighborhood children.  She continuously sought to know those she served and always made certain to put their needs first. Her pioneering spirit and creative outlook on settlements made Hull House one of the greatest innovations of the Progressive Era.

We encourage all students and teachers to look through the Jane Addams Digital Edition for documents written by Jane Addams that will aid their work.

Good luck!

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Resources for Educators: Lesson Plans

Renee DeLora, Paige Drews, Christina Dwyer, and Michael Romano

Jane Addams was one of the most important figures of the Progressive Era. Involved with child labor, settlement houses, peace, Progressive politics, and a multitude of reforms, Addams' writings and speeches can be incorporated into a variety of lessons focusing around the Progressive Era and character education. The Jane Addams Papers Project is collaborating with teacher's education students at Ramapo College of New Jersey to develop lesson plans that utilize Addams' works as primary sources. 

In an effort to continuously improve users' experience with the Jane Addams Digital Edition, we appreciate any feedback that you can provide on the lesson plans. Thank you!

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National History Day: Triumph and Tragedy

Renee DeLora, Michael Romano, Christina Dwyer

With the generous support of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the Jane Addams Papers and Teacher Education program at Ramapo College of New Jersey, the Jane Addams Papers Project has developed this guide for teachers and students participating in National History Day.

Triumph and tragedy can be a useful theme to interpret historical events. In her work for social reform during the Progressive Era, Jane Addams witnessed tragic conditions in cities, homes, the workplace and in schools. By exposing these daily tragedies to the American public, Addams was able to successfully advocate for change. Addams spread the word using speeches, articles, and conferences to publicize the issues and get work started with like-minded activists. Some of the more important issues Addams focused on were the abolition of child labor, juvenile delinquency, social welfare, the plight of immigrants, and woman suffrage.

In the Jane Addams Digital Edition you will find letters, speeches, articles, and other documents that illuminate this year's themes. We have highlighted a few research topics to get you started, but you can find other topics, subjects, and events that will also fit the theme.

Happy researching!

If you are a teacher and would like to provide feedback on this guide, please fill out this form so we can continue to improve the Jane Addams Digital Edition.

If you are a student and would like to provide feedback on this guide, please fill out this form. Thank you!

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Rediscovering Jane Addams in a Time of Crisis

MassHumanities, Rutherford Platt, Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, Jane Addams Papers Project

A daylong free public forum was held on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Edwards Church in Northampton devoted to: “Rediscovering Jane Addams in a Time of Crisis.” Sponsored by Mass Humanities, in association with the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice and other organizations, the forum revisited the once-revered (and sometimes reviled) Jane Addams and examined how her struggles for social justice and peace continue today.

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