Jane Addams

By in Human Rights, Leadership, Political Leaders

                                                                                            Believer of Peace and Justice
“America’s future will be determined by the home and the school.  The child becomes largely what he is taught hence he must watch what we   teach and how we live” -Addams

                       Jane Addams was renowned for her openness, the first of our learning tasks of leadership. She became the arguably the most famous women in America. The most important element in her life was her inclination to learn, her eagerness to profit from whatever other were willing to teach her. Addams was a gift, which was the ability to change her mind as she sought to reappraise her assumptions regarding “the poverty she observed the utter despair she witnessed during the depression of 1893″(Preskill and Brookefiled35). Adams received The good housekeeping’s seal of approval as the greatest living American Woman. She was a symbol of fame and some even viewed her as an energetic feminists. Addams had an ambition to help woman got her involved with the national council of Woman.


Leadership skills:

1. Openness:

Jane Addams was the director of the Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago. Addams was best known for her inclination to learn and eagerness to profit from whatever others were willing to teach her. She admitted to her mistakes and found way to adopt a new point of view, while explaining her new perspective. Another gift Addams had was the ability to changer her mind.

2. Changing her mind

Unlike other leaders, Adams had the gift of being able to change her mind. Some leaders had a hard time doing that because they were so focused on their own opinion and saw things as black and white. Addams listened careful to what people had to say and being persuaded easily. It was  both a good thing and a bad thing but in Addams case it was a good thing because it always seemed to make matters better for not herself but for the people she was trying to help.

 3.Addams always had hope.

Addams knew that the people she was helping both in the Hull house and Jane Club were basically coming from nothing and she wanted to give them something. That something was hope. She wanted to reassure them that they are not alone and that help is always there for them. Addams grew mentally and emotionally from this because she saw that even the littlest thing will give them strength to even help others in the house. It was a team and family effort and she knew she could never do it alone without hope.




Woman’s Peace Conference:

Addams was involved in social justice in the late 19th early 20th century.  She worked with immigrants from many countries at Hull house. She wanted to work mostly with understanding of the need for peace. Woman wanted to help, but did not have the right to vote yet.  They wanted to have a chance to be heard because they believed that what they had to say mattered just as much as a mans voice. Addams goal was to bring “thousands and thousands of woman together to dedicate their new political power not to local reform or personal ambition not to discovering the difference between the democratic and republican party but to riding the world war. In December 1914, the Federation of Peace was formed. Addams role was having the logical focus for the national organization.  Addams was qualified to lead the movement.  The movement was asked to attend an International Congress of woman held in Hague. Addams attended believing that “woman must come together somewhere, someway, just to show that woman of all countries can work together even in the face of the greatest war in the world (cook, 1987 P.258). Addams speech was reported to the New York Times to the Carnegie Hall.

Hull House: 
Addams wanted to help other people in anyway that she could. She decided that she wanted to make the First American Settlement house in Chicago.  She wanted to help aid the immigrants around her. This became a very big success in her life because it was a house for delivering babies, reading children books in kindergarten, or helping woman.Addams learned that the Hull House eventually should be created more to unleash the the unexploited powers of young adults like her than to assist the poor. This helped Jane realize that she herself was in a sense a pioneer in a new social frontier. Addams said that the settlement ” is a protest against restricted view of education and makes it possible for every educated man or woman with teaching faculty to find out those who are ready to be taught” it even led a college course that taught Greek, Latin and even Shakespeare. Addams wanted a new addition, the art gallery which not only gave her pleasure but the  people she was helping. It gave woman a life it made them happy and they even called themselves a family.


Social Work/Jane Club

Mary Kenney and Addams worked together to improve working conditions for her union members as well as many other members. They worked closely together on the Jane club which offered protection for women who were out on strike and enduring weeks of little to no income. The Jane Club also had a education factor which gave woman a college like residence where they could have time to engage in conversations, unlike the Hull House. Kenney Influenced Addams to speak up more for what she believed in, promoting her to help other laboring groups that were in need. Because of Kenney, Addams became very much involved with social justice and played a key role in promoting worker efforts to organize themselves.




Although Addams accomplished a great deal, one criticism that people had was that they did not like her radical ideas and ways of doing things. She believed so strongly in peace that it was seen as deviant


I believe that her having such a strong opinion on peace was not such a bad thing as people made it out to be. Addams had goals and if she had to be hard headed to get what she wanted than that is how it should be.Sometimes a person has to be cruel to be kind.Sometimes being nice is not enough to accomplish such a big goal.



Jane Addams was a very influential American Leader. She never put herself first but instead put other people ahead of her. She listened and only talked when she needed to be heard. She cared about women and their role in society. Seeing other people happy made her happy.



1.Conway. Jill, (Women Reformer sand American Culture ,1870-1930).  Oxford Journals Nov 6, 2014. pg 166-174

2.Hurt. James, Jane Addams twenty years at hull house. University of Illinois Press.  1988

3.Sullivan, Maura. “Social Work’s Legacy of Peace: Echoes from the Early 20th Century.” Social Work 38, no. 5 (September 1993): 513-520.Academic Search  Premier, EBSCO host (accessed November 6, 2014).

4.Phillips. J.O.C., History of Education Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 1, Reinterpreting Women’s Education (Spring, 1974), pp. 49-67

5.Jane Addams: An American Heroine Jill Conway Daedalus, Vol. 93, No. 2, The Woman in America (Spring, 1964), pp. 761-780. The MIT Press on behalf   of American Academy of Arts & Sciences