Archive for the ‘Industrialization/Urbanization’ Category

Major events in US labor history

1790– The first textile mill, built in Pawtucket, RI, is staffed entirely by children under the age of 12.

Lowell Mill workers (and their chaperone)

Lowell Mill workers (and their chaperone)

1834 to 1836– Workers at the Lowell Textile Mills, mostly unmarried young girls and young women, institute “turnouts” protesting wage cuts that had been instituted due to falling prices due to overproduction. See also See picture at right.

1842– The Massachusetts State Supreme Court ruled in Commonwealth v. Hunt that labor unions were not necessarily illegal conspiracies.

1845– The Female Labor Reform Association is formed in Lowell, Massachusetts by Sarah Bagley and other women cotton mill workers to reduce the work day from 12 or 13 hours a day to 10, and to improve sanitation and safety in the mills where they worked.

1866– The National Labor Union formed, the first national association of unions to succeed for any length of time. It included both skilled and unskilled workers.

Terence Powderely and his mustache.

Terence Powderley and his mustache.

1869– The Noble Order of the Knights of Labor, a secret society, is organized in Philadelphia. Led by Terence Powderley from 1879, they accepted members of all races and both sexes. They pushed for the eight-hour day, abolition of child labor, equal pay for equal work, and political reforms including the graduated income tax. They would collapse after the Haymarket Square Affair.

1876– Leaders of the “Molly Maguires”, a violent secret society of Irish coal miners in Pennsylvania that had been infiltrated by a Pinkerton detective, were placed on trial for murder. A private corporation initiated the investigation through a private detective agency. A private police force arrested the alleged defenders, and private attorneys for the coal companies prosecuted them. The state provided only the courtroom and the gallows. On On June 21, 1877, (“Rope Day”) ten leaders of the Molly Maguires were hanged.

1877– The Great Railroad Strike of 1877, the first large railroad strike in US history, begins on July 14. A national uprising of railroad workers cripples the nation in response to the cutting of wages for the second time in a year by the Baltimore & Ohio (B & O) Railroad. It was also the first general strike, in which workers in other industries went on strike in solidarity with the striking workers. The governor of West Virginia sends in state militia, but they refused to use force against the strikers and the governor called for federal troops. President Rutherford B. Hayes sent federal troops from city to city. These troops suppressed strike after strike, until at last, approximately 45 days after it had started, the strike was over. This also spun off the Great St. Louis General Strike.

1886– In March, the Great Southwest Railroad Strike of 200,000 workers breaks out against the Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific railroads owned by Jay Gould, one of the more flamboyant of the ‘robber baron’ industrialists of the day. The failure of the strike led directly to the collapse of the Knights of Labor and the formation of the American Federation of Labor.

–On May 1, in Chicago’s Haymarket Square, a bomb went off in the middle of a 1500-person protest rally against the killing of 4 strikers who had been on strike for the 8-hour day. Seven men were sentenced to death, even though it is unclear that labor activists had anything to do with the bombing. Only three were actually executed: one committed suicide before his execution and the other three were later pardoned.

— On December 28, The American Federation of Labor is formed at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, representing 140,000 workers grouped in 25 national unions. Samuel Gompers is elected President.

1892riot2The Great Homestead Strike and Lockout takes place at the Carnegie Steel Works outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania against the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel & Tin Workers. Andrew Carnegie directs his manager, Henry Frick, not to renew the union contract. Frick turns the steel mills into “Fort Frick,” hires Pinkerton detectives (known for their brutality) to protect scabs and locks out union laborers. Strikers battle arriving Pinkertons, leaving 9 strikers and 7 Pinkertons dead.

1894– Eugene V. Debs leads the newly formed American Railway Union in a national strike against the Pullman Company. The strike and the union were finally broken by a court injunction and the intervention of federal troops.

1902– A huge anthracite coal strike of 147,000 coal miners shuts down eastern coal production, endangering hospitals, schools, and other public buildings. President Teddy Roosevelt mediates between the two sides at the White House and breaks tradition by not automatically siding with the business owners. Federal mediation of labor disputes is then launched.
— The Colorado Labor Wars erupts as a series of conflicts spanning two years in what became known as the Colorado Labor Wars erupts in Colorado. Big Bill Haywood leads the Western Federation of Miners (WMF) through these troubles.

1905– In Chicago, Eugene Debs, former head of the American railway Union, and Big Bill Haywood, a head of the Western Federation of Miners, combine efforts to found the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies as they were called) to bring all American workers into “One Big Union.”

Eugene Debs for President from the Socialist Party

Eugene Debs for President from the Socialist Party

Both would become known as members of the Socialist Party, with Debs running for US president as the party’s candidate five times, from 1900- 1920, including from a jail cell in 1920, as Debs had been sentenced to ten years in prison for violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for giving a speech criticizing World War I (the text of that speech is elsewhere on this website).

1911– A fire breaks out at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, which produces women’s dress shirts, killing 146 young men in gruesome fashion. The exit doors had been chained shut, and many young men hurl themselves from upper-story windows or die of smoke asphyxiation piled up near exit doors. This comes just 2 years after 20,000 shirtwaist workers had gone on strike.

1912– The “Bread and Roses Strike” takes place in Lawrence, Massachusetts, led by the International Workers of the World. Approximately 23,000 men, women and children organize at the Lawrence Textile Mills, in what is cited as the first successful multi-ethnic strike in US history

1913– The Labor Department is created as a separate department from the commerce department.

1914– The Clayton Anti-Trust Act takes effect. It limits the use of injunctions in labor disputes and providing that picketing and other union activities are not illegal conspiracies or trusts.It is specifically targetting an interpretation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 which allowed business leaders to use the Sherman Act against workers’ organizations. AFL head Samuel Gompers refers to the Clayton Act as “Labor’s Magna Carta”.

The Ludlow Massacre begins on April 20th. A combined force of Colorado National Guard and Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel & Iron Company guards kill 19-25 people, including several children, when they use a barrage of machine gun fire on a strikers’ tent village at Ludlow, Colorado.

1915 to 1918– The IWW undergoes a series of setbacks. In 1915, Joe Hill, IWW organizer and “labor’s troubador” was executed by firing squad in Utah on November 19, 1915 for a robbery and murder it is most unlikely he had anything to do with. In 1917, 17 IWW activists are horsewhipped while in police custody in Tulsa. In 1918, the leadership of the Industrial Workers of the World sentenced to federal prison on charges of disloyalty to the United States.

1919– Many serious labor events increase fear during the Red Scare of 1919-1920, including:
–The Seattle General Strike of February 6 to February 11, 1919 by over 65,000 workers in several unions, dissatisfied after two years of World War I wage controls.

— United Mine Workers’ organizer Fannie Sellins, a widowed mother of four, is shot to death by coal company guards while leading strikers in Brackenridge, Pennsylvania.

— A strike by 1,100 police in Boston is the first ever by public safety workers. It was broken when Governor Calvin Coolidge summoned the entire Massachusetts Guard (launching his national political aspirations).

— The Great Steel Strike against U.S. Steel Corp. led by the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers begins. Starting in Chicago, it spread to 350,000 workers throughout Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and lasted from September 1919 to January 1920. It was broken by massive use of scabs.

— The Palmer Raids: on November 7 Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer ordered raids by the Federal Department of Justice in 30 cities across the United States to arrest and deport suspicious immigrants (so called “alien reds”) many of whom were involved in US labor unions. The raids were coordinated by a young J. Edgar Hoover, Palmer’s chief investigating officer. In all, he rounded up about 10,000 and deported many as foreign agitators, anarchists, communists.

1926– The Railway Labor Act, required employers to bargain collectively and not discriminate against their employees for joining a union and outlawing “yellow-dog” contracts, was passed.

1935– The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) is passed, establishing the National Labor Relations Board, which ensures that workers have the right to unionize and not suffer under unfair business practices.

Six affiliated unions of the AFL form a Committee for Industrial Organizing to expand the scope of the AFL beyond its craft-union orientation.

Sit down strike by UAW

Sit down strike by UAW

1936– A “sitdown strike” of auto workers who are members of the United Auto Workers (UAW), supported by the Women’s Emergency Brigade, shuts down the assembly lines at the General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan.

1943– As a wartime measure, Congress passes the Smith-Connally Act to restrict labor bargaining and organizing. It would have required 30 day “cooling off” before strike, criminal penalties for encouraging strikes, Presidential seizure of struck plants, prohibitions against union campaign contributions. It is vetoed by President Roosevelt.

1946– A national railway strike brings almost all train traffic to a halt. President Harry S. Truman takes over railways and settles the dispute.

1947– As part of a postwar conservative political realignment, on June 23, The Taft-Hartley Act passed over President Truman’s veto, drastically amending the Wagner Act of 1935 reducing rights of workers to organize labor unions. State “right-to-work” laws appear. “Right-to-work” laws make it harder for unions to organize.

1949– An amendment to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act outlaws child labor (especially in the context of farm jobs)

1952– A 55 day steel workers’ strike is ended by Federal Government intervention authorized by President Harry Truman.

1955– The American Federation of Labor merges with the Congress of Industrial Organizations, to form the AFL-CIO, the world’s largest labor federation.

1959– The longest steel strike in U.S. history shuts down 90% of US steel production for 116 days.

1963– The Equal Pay Act is signed into law and requires that female workers be paid the same wage as male workers for the same job.

1965– The United Farmworkers is formed by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. It launches a 1970 boycott of 25 major growers of table grapes in California.

1971– The Occupational Safety and Health Act is passed on April 28.

1973 to 1974– Two female workers who attempt to improve worker rights and safety take their actions which later result in having movies made about them.

Crystal Lee Jordan is fired for trying to organize a union at the J.P. Stevens plant in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. The 1979 movie about her struggles, Norma Rae, later was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, winning Best Actress and Best Original Song.

Karen Silkwood, a lab technician at the Kerr-McGee Cimarron Fuel Fabrication plant and an officer of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union local in Oklahoma City dies mysteriously en route to a union meeting with a newspaper reporter to detail violations at the plant. The 1983 movie about her experiences, Silkwood, was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and won a Golden Globe for best supporting actress Cher.

1975– On July 1, Cesar Chavez and sixty supporters of the United Farm Workers embarked on a thousand-mile march across California to rally the state’s farm workers, many of whom are Hispanic and immigrant.

Also, on July 30, former Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of a Detroit restaurant. Although presumed dead, his remains have never been found.

PATCO controllers on strike in 1981

PATCO controllers on strike in 1981

1981– The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) struck in defiance of the law. Newly elected President Ronald Reagan fired all the strikers and broke the union, sanctioning the practice of hiring “permanent replacements” for striking workers. Solidarity day labor rally draws 400,000 to the Mall in Washington D.C.

1989– A wildcat strike of the United Mine Workers of America against the Pittston Coal Group in Virginia spreads across coalfields in the eastern US, involving up to 50,000 miners in 11 states. Using non-violence and civil disobedience, the miners win a contract after a bitter nine-month struggle.

1993A five day strike of 21,000 American Airlines’ flight attendants, virtually shutting the airline down, is ended when President Clinton persuades the owners to arbitrate the dispute. Federal Arbitration of labor disputes first became common under President Theodore Roosevelt during the Coal Strike of 1903.

1994– The Major League Players Association goes on strike against National and American League baseball team owners. It is the longest strike of professional athletes and lasts 232 days, wiping out the 1994 World Series, and infuriating fans.

2001 to 2005– Several unions disaffiliate from the AFL-CIO, including the half-million member United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and in 2005, the 1.7 million member Service Employees International Union and the 1.3 million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

This timeline modified material found here:

Links for Industrialization and Urbanization

Bobbin boys and other child laborers:

Cartoon about child labor:

Child labor devours its victim

The Great Chicago Fire and its impact:

Jane Addams and Hull House:

Grace Hill Settlement House in St. Louis:

The Carnegie Corporation: Hold your pointer over the programs menu to see all the different aims of this 100 year old philanthropic foundation.

Chapter 25 questions

Due next Monday, January 13.

Chapter 25 questions

Answer completely, and always include dates and specific names.

1. What trends/pull factors contributed to the growth of urbanization in the 19th century worldwide? What were the largest cities in the world by 1900? (what are they now? look them up and see if anything has changed!)
2. What advances in transportation helped cities grow from the size of “walking cities?”  How did people buy groceries and other goods in an urban environment?
3. Describe the types of housing available for the urban poor? What kinds of people lived there, and how did the Great Chicago Fire affect building materials? Describe this disaster.
4. What were the differences between the “New Immigrants” and the “Old?” Who received the harshest treatment, and why? What were the push/pull factors in this wave of immigration for each country (what was going on in Europe)? Did all immigrants stay permanently? Explain.
5. How did political machines flourish in this environment? What services did they provide?
6. How did urban squalor generate religious reformers during the late 19th century to focus on social issues? Who were some of the leaders and reformist movements in the cities, and what did they do?
7. What did settlement houses try to do, and what kinds of people ran these? Was there a difference between Protestant and Catholic Christian responses? Google “settlement house St. Louis” and report what you find.
8. How did mainline Protestant Christianity respond to scientific development? What specific challenge did Darwin’s work present to some Christians? How was Darwin’s work later (mis)used in regards to the problem of the poor? What was the connection between this dispute and the novel Ben Hur?
9. What work opportunities were available for women in the cities? Was there a difference between jobs for  white women versus women of color? How did marriage fit into women’s working lives? What does “white-collar” mean when speaking of jobs?
10. Why was there a move to restrict immigration by both the APA and the unions?
11. How were American colleges and universities affected during this time? What is a “research university” and a “liberal arts college,” and what were some important ones founded during this time? What is the philosophical movement known as “pragmatism?”
12. What is the connection between the waves of immigration during this time and the status of a free public educational system? Why else did public schools become more common and more rigorous?
13. Make a chart to compare the work and explain the main disputes between Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois. How did they differ in their visions for the immediate future of African Americans? What in their backgrounds made them so different from each other? Why did Washington receive more support—financial as well as political—from whites?
14. What impact did the industrial revolution have on standard of living and life expectancy?
15. What judgments were leveled at the robber barons in terms of the impact of income disparity in American society by people such as Henry George? What did Edward Bellamy and Horatio Alger think about industry’s impact on society?
16. What philosophy did Andrew Carnegie develop in regards to his massive personal fortune and the proper uses for it? How was this different from other tycoons (be specific)?
17. How did the newspaper industry change during this time, and who were the most famous newspaper publishers? What methods did they use to increase circulation?
18. How did American literature change in the way it portrayed the world? What were some important writers and their books?
19. How did attitudes toward family and personal lives (sex! divorce! Kim Kardashian!) change after the Civil War? What effects did this have?
20. How did women’s rights activists attempt to use women’s “traditional” roles to argue for the expansion of women’s rights? What were some important women’s rights groups and their leaders? Was the temperance movement a women’s rights organization? Explain.

Chapter 24 questions

Due on the first day back from break!

Chapter 24 questions

1. How, specifically, was railroad construction financed (including help from the federal government) in the late 19th century? What were the main railroad companies and the entrepreneurs who were associated with them?
2. What was the only railroad built without government aid? What are “hells on wheels?” How was the first transcontinental railroad completed, by whom (both entrepreneurs and workers) and where did the “wedding” take place?
3. What effects did the creation of a railroad network have on the American economy? How did it affect the telling of time? What technological improvements did the railroads encourage? What industries grew as a result of this network? Why was the Mesabi range important?
4. Explain pools, stock watering, and other dubious means used by railroad “barons” to make a profit. What were they attempting to do to competition? Why weren’t these practices regulated or otherwise halted? What was the first federal regulatory agency in history, and what was it supposed to do?
5. What impact did interchangeable parts and other new technologies have upon employment patterns, including women? What were “Gibson girls,” and what kinds of jobs did they do?
6. Which foreign countries were most involved in investment in American enterprises? How involved were these investors in the actual day-to-day management of American companies?
7. Make a chart comparing and explaining the main businesses and practices of Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, and James Duke. Make sure to include these terms: interlocking directorate, pool, horizontal integration, trust, holding company,
8. Create a chart of the great inventors and their innovations: Edison, Bell, Bessemer (and Kelly), McCormick
9. What is the difference between “capital goods” and “consumer goods?” Which was most emphasized during this time period?
10. How was US Steel created, by whom, and why was it notable? What other corporations begun during this time are still around today?
11. What did Standard Oil actually do? Where was it located? What products were made from petroleum at this point? What immoral/illegal methods did this company use to ruthlessly crush its competition? What invention would later make this company even more profitable (that most of you can’t imagine living without?)
12. What was “the Gospel of Wealth?” How did this attempt to justify vast accumulations of wealth?
13. What is “Social Darwinism” and “survival of the fittest” in terms of economics? What were the implications then for poor people? What thinkers actually influenced this more than Darwin?
14. How did the 14th Amendment end up being interpreted as helping corporations during this time (and even now)? Be specific.
15. What did the Sherman Anti-Trust Act attempt to do? Why didn’t it work better? What was one group that it was ironically used against that probably hadn’t been anticipated, and what was the reasoning/justification for this?
16. How did the South begin to industrialize during this time? What manufacturing began to develop there, and why? What did Henry Grady urge?
17. What obstacles stood in the way of Southern development? What was the “Pittsburgh plus” pricing system’s impact?
18. What were working conditions like in the factories? What demographic group was most affected by industrialization, and why? How did “punching a clock” change traditional patterns of life? What was the Contact Labor Law of 1885?
19. What methods did companies use to try to suppress unions? Why did much of the general public feel negatively toward unions (consider Haymarket Square and the term “labor trust”), and when did that finally begin to change? Who was John P. Altgeld?
20. Make a chart of the major unions, their leaders, their membership composition, dates, etc. Did any of these survive until today? Don’t forget “Mother…”

Corporate history

Here’s some linky goodness.

The story of Standard Oil Trust:

The story of Bell Telephone:

The iron and steel industry:

Andrew Carnegie:

History of Ford Motor Company:

Timeline of General Electric Corporation:

History of J. P Morgan bank: this one’s not complementary but thorough- and there is the corporate version here:

Microsoft Corporation:

Dow Chemical Company:

Overview of Labor Unions in the US



How the Wong Kim Ark case applies to debates about jus soli

This was in the Post-Dispatch on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011. Note the bnold-faced information, which reflects our recent class discussion.

WASHINGTON • Conservative lawmakers from five state legislatures launched a joint campaign Wednesday afternoon to try to cancel automatic U.S. citizenship for the American-born children of illegal immigrants.

It is part of the conservative Republicans’ promised attack on “anchor babies” that included U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, marking his first day Wednesday night as chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration by introducing a bill to eliminate birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. “This isn’t what our Founding Fathers intended,” he told

The state legislators used a news conference in Washington to unveil two model measures they said would be introduced in at least 14 states. One was a bill clarifying the terms of citizenship in those states to exclude babies born in the United States of illegal immigrant parents. The second was a compact among states to adopt common positions on the issue.

The lawmakers acknowledged that the state bills were not likely to have a practical impact anytime soon because they would be quickly challenged as unconstitutional. But the legislators — from Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina — said they chose the inaugural day of a new, Republican-controlled House of Representatives to open the first round of litigation they hope will lead to the Supreme Court and also spur action by lawmakers in Washington.

“We are here to send a very public message to Congress,” said Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican state representative from Pennsylvania. “We want to bring an end to the illegal alien invasion that is having such a negative impact on our states.”

The state lawmakers’ initiative put the highly emotional issue of birthright citizenship, which had long been marginal in the immigration debate, at the front of the Republicans’ immigration agenda as the new Congress gets under way. A study released in August by the Pew Hispanic Center found that about 340,000 children were born to illegal immigrants in the United States in 2008 and became instant citizens.

The right to U.S. citizenship for everyone born on American soil is described in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The state legislators argued that certain phrases in the amendment signal that it was not intended to apply to children of immigrants who do not have lawful status.

Opponents of changing the status quo argue that determining American citizenship is clearly a federal matter in which states have no legal role.

Because the federal government decides who is to be deemed a citizen, the state lawmakers are considering instead a move to create two kinds of birth certificates in their states, one for the children of citizens and another for the children of illegal immigrants. The theory is that this could spark a flurry of lawsuits that might resolve the legal conflict in their favor.

Most scholars of the Constitution consider the states’ effort to restrict birth certificates patently unconstitutional.

“This is political theater, not a serious effort to create a legal test,” said Gabriel J. Chin, a law professor at the University of Arizona whose grandfather immigrated to the United States from China at a time when ethnic Chinese were excluded from the country. He called the effort “unconstitutional.”

But conservatives contend that the issue is unsettled. Kris Kobach, the incoming secretary of state in Kansas and a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who has helped draft many of the tough immigration regulations across the country, argued that the approach the states were planning would hold up to scrutiny.

“I can’t really say much more without showing my hand,” Kobach said. “But, yes, I am confident that the law will stand up in court.”

The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, was a repudiation of the Supreme Court’s 1857 ruling, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, that people of African descent could never be American citizens. The amendment said citizenship applied to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

In 1898, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, interpreted the citizenship provision as applying to a child born in the United States to a Chinese immigrant couple.

In April, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., one of those pushing for congressional action on the issue, stirred controversy when he suggested that children born in the United States to illegal immigrants should be deported with their parents until the birthright citizenship policy was changed.

“And we’re not being mean,” Hunter told a Tea Party rally in Southern California. “We’re just saying it takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen.”

Brief biography of Jane Addams

from the Hull House website

Born in Cedarville, Illinois, on September 6, 1860, and graduated from Rockford Female Seminary in 1881, Jane Addams founded, with Ellen Gates Starr, the world famous social settlement Hull-House on Chicago’s Near West Side in 1889. From Hull-House, where she lived and worked until her death in 1935, Jane Addams built her reputation as the country’s most prominent woman through her writing, settlement work, and international efforts for peace.

Social settlements began in the 1880s in London in response to problems created by urbanization, industrialization, and immigration. The idea spread to other industrialized countries. Settlement houses typically attracted educated, native born, middle-class and upper-middle class women and men, known as “residents,” to live (settle) in poor urban neighborhoods. Some social settlements were linked to religious institutions. Others, like Hull-House, were secular. By 1900, the U.S. had over 100 settlement houses. By 1911, Chicago had 35.

In the 1890s, Hull-House was located in the midst of a densely populated urban neighborhood peopled by Italian, Irish, German, Greek, Bohemian, and Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants. During the 1920s, African Americans and Mexicans began to put down roots in the neighborhood and joined the clubs and activities at Hull-House. Jane Addams and the Hull-House residents provided kindergarten and day care facilities for the children of working mothers; an employment bureau; an art gallery; libraries; English and citizenship classes; and theater, music and art classes. As the complex expanded to include thirteen buildings, Hull-House supported more clubs and activities such as a Labor Museum, the Jane Club for single working girls, meeting places for trade union groups, and a wide array of cultural events.

The residents of Hull-House formed an impressive group, including Jane Addams, Ellen Gates Starr, Florence Kelley, Dr. Alice Hamilton, Julia Lathrop, Sophonisba Breckinridge, and Grace and Edith Abbott. From their experiences in the Hull-House neighborhood, the Hull-House residents and their supporters forged a powerful reform movement. Among the projects that they helped launch were the Immigrants’ Protective League, the Juvenile Protective Association, the first juvenile court in the nation, and a Juvenile Psychopathic Clinic (later called the Institute for Juvenile Research). Through their efforts, the Illinois Legislature enacted protective legislation for women and children in 1893. With the creation of the Federal Children’s Bureau in 1912 and the passage of a federal child labor law in 1916, the Hull-House reformers saw their efforts expanded to the national level.

Jane Addams wrote prolifically on topics related to Hull-House activities, producing eleven books and numerous articles as well as maintaining an active speaking schedule nationwide and throughout the world. She played an important role in many local and national organizations. A founder of the Chicago Federation of Settlements in 1894, she also helped to establish the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers in 1911. She was a leader in the Consumers League and served as the first woman president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections (later the National Conference of Social Work). She was chair of the Labor Committee of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, vice-president of the Campfire Girls, and a member of the executive boards of the National Playground Association and the National Child Labor Committee. In addition, she actively supported the campaign for woman suffrage and the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1909) and the American Civil Liberties Union (1920).

In the early years of the twentieth century Jane Addams became involved in the peace movement. During the First World War, she and other women from belligerent and neutral nations met at the International Congress of Women at the Hague in 1915, attempting to stop the war. She maintained her pacifist stance after the United States entered the war in 1917, working to found the Women’s Peace Party (WILPF), which became the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1919. She was the WILPF’s first president. As a result of her work, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

Jane Addams died in Chicago on May 21, 1935. She was buried in Cedarville, her childhood home town.

Article on Hull House

Straight from today’s news. Great timing!

New exhibits at Chicago’s Hull House Museum

By CARYN ROUSSEAU, Associated Press Caryn Rousseau, Associated Press Mon Dec 27, 10:53 am ET

CHICAGO – At the turn of the 20th century, thousands of immigrants sought out Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago. There they received medical treatment at settlement house clinics, learned job skills through training classes and found community at an art gallery, gymnasium and gardening club.

The stories of Addams and the immigrants are told at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, which in December finished a major renovation following the 150th anniversary of Addams’ birth last fall. Visitors can now see new exhibits, walk into Addams’ restored bedroom and view two sides of the famous feminist social reformer’s life — her Nobel Peace Prize and the hundreds of pages of her FBI file.

Hull House was the most well-known of the 400 settlement houses in the United States in the early 1900s. The settlements were designed to provide services to immigrants and the poor while uplifting them through culture, education and recreation. The legacy of Hull House remains relevant today, said Victoria Brown, a history professor at Grinnell College in Iowa and author of “The Education of Jane Addams.”

“We’re in a time right now of people kind of realizing that they need to work locally and they need to work with fellow citizens in their community across class and across race,” Brown said. “That was certainly core to her convictions.”

Hull House, now a National Historic Landmark, was built as a country estate by Charles Hull in 1856. Addams started renting the property in 1889. At its peak, Hull House served more than 9,000 people a week, offering medical help, an art gallery, citizenship classes, a gardening club and a gym with sports programs.

In the 1960s, there were plans to tear down the entire settlement to build what is now the University of Illinois-Chicago campus. Eventually two of the original 13 buildings were preserved and have housed the museum since 1967. The Hull House Association social service group still exists but it has been decentralized throughout Chicago. The museum belongs to UIC’s College of Architecture and Arts.

The latest renovation started more than a year ago with $800,000 in grant money. Museum-goers can now walk up a curved wooden staircase to stand in Addams’ bedroom with its wallpaper of pink flowers and green leaves.

Her 1931 gold Nobel medal is in a glass case next to a clipboard that keeps her long FBI file together for visitors to flip through. Along one wall is a small twin bed with white embroidered linens and a black silk dress. Across the room, her 1881 diploma and class ring from Rockford Female Seminary are displayed.

Museum curators approached the renovation wanting to tell the many stories of Jane Addams and the immigrants who came to Hull House, said museum director Lisa Yun Lee.

“There’s actually more than one story about Jane Addams,” Lee said. “That’s why we placed the Nobel Peace Prize next to her FBI file.”

Addams’ writing desk is in the center of her bedroom, the top filled with copies of letters she wrote and received.

“The workers in the garment industry will forever remember your splendid aid in their efforts to abolish the sweat shop,” read one Western Union telegram to Addams from the president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union for her 70th birthday in 1930.

Hull House’s reputation has persevered because of Addams’ skilled and prolific writing.

“She was out there writing magazine articles, giving speeches, publishing books,” Brown said. “That meant her voice was widely heard in the U.S. She was the premiere networker. She was brilliant at it.”

Museum curators hope to be experiential in their approach as well. Downstairs, visitors pass a velvet purple curtain into an empty octagon-shaped room where sounds from the era play: horse clops, typewriters, old telephone rings, a bicycle bell and a train. You can close your eyes and use the sounds to imagine what the din of the house would have been like 100 years ago.

Curators also take advantage of modern technology. Throughout the museum, visitors can use their cell phones to call a special phone number and hear commentary and discussion about exhibits from figures like the late Studs Terkel and retired UIC professor and former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.

Although it’s primarily a place to teach the public about Hull House’s history, the museum also functions as part of the community. It sponsors urban farm tours, free soup lunches with social justice discussions and documentary film series.

Visitors can find inspiration in the museum’s small rooms that became home to an important and influential movement, Brown said.

“Just seeing those rooms would give you a sense that very, very famous things often start from small beginnings,” Brown said. “Any of us starting with an idea . if you have faith in it and you nurture it, it can grow.”


If You Go.

JANE ADDAMS HULL HOUSE MUSEUM: 800 S. Halsted St., Chicago, or 312-413-5353. Open Tuesday- Friday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Sundays noon-4 p.m.. Closed Saturdays and Mondays. Public tours are offered at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays. Admission is free.

Multicultural History of the US: After the Civil War

How immigration exploded in the US from the Civil War onward. A good review of social history, a major strand in AP US history.