What Problem Did the Industrial Revolution Create?
In the late 18oos, there was a large influx of immigrants into America. These people came to large cities like Chicago, Boston, and New York to work in the factories there. The immigrants had no idea how to begin life in this new country, however, and struggled with poverty.
How Did Settlement Houses Help?
They provided impoverished immigrants with: - education about American culture - childcare - a place to live - baths - public kitchens - job opportunities - libraries - clubs and entertainment - health care
"America's future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live."
Addams was first inspired by visiting a settlement house in London. In 1889, she founded Hull-House in Chicago "to provide a center for a higher civic and social life; to institute and maintain educational and philanthropic enterprises and to investigate and improve the conditions in the industrial districts of Chicago." Besides founding Hull-House, Addam's approach was to raise awareness and promote social reform. She also helped to start the first juvenile court in America and to pass a federal child labor law in 1916.
" Over broken asphalt, over dirty mattresses and heaps of refuse we went... I felt ashamed of being a part of society that permitted such conditions to exist... What I had seen had shown me where my path lay."
Wald Came to Manhattan, New York for nursing school. Once she saw the immense poverty in that city, she founded Henry Street Settlement in 1893. In addition, she placed nurses in public schools, worked against child labor, and improved working conditions for women in factories by establishing a minimum wage. Wald helped found the NAACP, the National Child Labor Committee, the National Organization for Public Health Nursing, Columbia University's School of Nursing, and the National Women's Trade Union League.
Focus: health care and nursing
Both Addams and Wald were concerned with problems they saw regarding underprivileged immigrants, especially women and children, in the cities. They took action and addressed these problems immediately. These women were overall very effective in improving education, health care, working conditions, general poverty, child labor, and other areas of life. If Addams or Wald did have any failed reform attempts, we would never know it because their successes by far outnumbered their failures.