Social Reformers, Like Jane Addams Essay

1171 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 null Page
The 1890s marked the beginning of the Progressive Era. Society was starting to change. Social reformers, like Jane Addams, were hard at work trying to change things for the better and were strong influences for progressivism. (The Progressive Era) If you were an immigrant coming to America during the Progressive Era, you would expect to be in a land of opportunity and prosperity. In the cities, though, the reality was filthy streets and overcrowded living spaces. Tenements, large buildings about four to five stories high, were occupied by several families at a time. Women stayed at home to take care of the children while their husbands went off to find work. Children could not be properly taken care of. Mothers could not provide their children with the proper nutrition, and as a result many newborns died. In 1910 alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 217,319 registered deaths of children under five years old in the United States and 154,373 registered deaths of children under one year old. (Mortality Statistics) Settlement houses were started to help combat issues such as infant mortality. The first settlement house was founded by a man named Stanton Coit in 1886 in New York City’s Lower East Side. He, and many others, believed that those from wealthy families should “settle” in poverty-stricken neighborhoods to help improve the quality of life for the lower class and to also assess the conditions and work toward social reform. (Settlement House…

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