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The settlement house movement was a reform that intended for the rich and the poor to live together in interdependent communities.
Examine the development of the Settlement House movement
The main object of the movement was the establishment of "settlement houses" in poor urban areas, in which volunteer middle-class "settlement workers" would live, hoping to share knowledge and culture with, and alleviate the poverty of their low-income neighbors.
Volunteer settlement workers moved into houses in order to share knowledge with lower-income neighbors.
In the US, by 1913 there were 413 settlements in 32 states.
The most famous settlement house in America was Chicago's Hull House, founded by the social reformer Jane Addams.
The settlement movement was a reformist social movement, beginning in the 1880s and peaking around the 1920s, in England and the U.S., with a goal of getting the rich and poor in society to live more closely together in an interdependent community. Its main object was the establishment of "settlement houses" in poor urban areas, in which volunteer middle-class "settlement workers" would live, hoping to share knowledge and culture with and alleviate the poverty of their low-income neighbors. In the U.S., by 1913 there were 413 settlements in 32 states.
The movement started in London in the mid 19th century. These houses often offered food, shelter, and basic and higher education, provided by virtue of charity on part of wealthy donors, the residents of the city, and (for education) scholars who volunteered their time. Victorian England, increasingly concerned with poverty, gave rise to the movement whereby those connected to universities settled students in slum areas to live and work alongside local people.
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, founded in 1894, Henry Street Settlement, founded in 1893, and University Settlement House, founded in 1886, and the oldest in the United States were important sites for social reform. United Neighborhood Houses of New York is the federation of 35 settlement houses in New York City. These and other settlement houses inspired the establishment of settlement schools to serve isolated rural communities in Appalachia. The settlement house concept was continued by Dorothy Day's Catholic Worker hospitality houses in the 1930s.
The most famous Settlement House in the United States is Chicago's Hull House, founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in 1889 after they had visited Toynbee Hall in 1888. Located in the Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois, Hull House opened its doors to the recently arrived European immigrants. By 1911, Hull House had grown to 13 buildings. In 1912 the Hull House complex was completed with the addition of a summer camp, the Bowen Country Club. With its innovative social, educational, and artistic programs, Hull House became the standard bearer for the movement that had grown, by 1920, to almost 500 settlement houses nationally.
The Hull mansion and several subsequent acquisitions were continuously renovated to accommodate the changing demands of the association. The original building and one additional building, which has been moved 200 yards, survives today. Addams followed the example of Toynbee Hall, which was founded in 1885 in the East End of London as a center for social reform. She described Toynbee Hall as "a community of university men who, while living there, held their recreational clubs and social gatherings at the settlement house...among the poor people and in the same style they would in their own circle."
Hull House became, at its inception in 1889, "a community of university women" whose main purpose was to provide social and educational opportunities for working class people, many of them recent European immigrants in the surrounding neighborhood. The "residents," as volunteers at Hull were called, held classes in literature, history, art, domestic activities, such as sewing, and many other subjects. Hull House also held concerts that were free to everyone, offered free lectures on current issues, and operated clubs for both children and adults.
Hull House conducted careful studies of the Near West Side, Chicago community, which became known as "The Hull House Neighborhood." These studies enabled the Hull House residents to confront the establishment, eventually partnering with them in the design and implementation of programs intended to enhance and improve the opportunities for success by the largely immigrant population.
The founder of Hull House, Jane Addams (September 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935) along with being a pioneer American settlement activist/reformer, was also a social worker, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women's suffrage and world peace. In an era when presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson identified themselves as reformers and social activists, Addams was one of the most prominent reformers of the Progressive Era. She helped America to address and focus on issues that were of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, local public health, and world peace. She said that if women were to be responsible for cleaning up their communities and making them better places to live, they needed to be able to vote to do so effectively. Addams became a role model for middle-class women who volunteered to uplift their communities. She is increasingly being recognized as a member of the American pragmatist school of philosophy.
Source: Boundless. “The Settlement House Movement.” Boundless U.S. History. Boundless, 17 Jun. 2016. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/u-s-history/textbooks/boundless-u-s-history-textbook/the-progressive-era-1890-1917-22/the-progressive-era-165/the-settlement-house-movement-1430-2258/