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Choosing Topics

Jane Addams played a significant role in many of the social reform movements of the early twentieth century. She worked with a broad alliance of social workers, educators, politicians, academics, and club women to help ameliorate the problems Americans faced as the United States shifted from a nation or farmers to an industrial power. Because of this, there are a wide variety of topics to choose among for your National History Day project. For Revolution, Reaction, Reform, we have highlighted the topics of:

Another way to think about your topic is to focus on Addams' relationship with one individual or group. For Revolution, Reaction, Reform, you could explore Addams's relationships with fellow reformers or with her adversaries. Some suggestions:

  • John Dewey, an education reformer and founder of the philosophical theory of pragmatism. Both Addams and Dewey influenced each others' philosophy and worked together at Hull-House.
  • Mabel T. Boardman, who criticized Jane Addams' involvement with the Progressive Party because she believed that suffragists should not support political parties.
  • National American Woman Suffrage Association
  • William T. Davis, a theater manager, who squared off against Addams on the issues of restricting the work of child actors. As an opponent of child labor, Addams believed that theaters should not cast child actors.