The late 1800s was a time when many immigrants were coming to America, social classes were being distinguished, and a great deal of prejudices was sweeping over the United States. The upper and middle classes had extreme advantages over the lower class, which consisted of a large number of immigrants. These lower class individuals were looked down upon by the prestigious upper class, who were brought up with the best of everything for their time period. Despite her family's honorable place in society, one woman rose above the gap between the classes in order to help individuals, who were less fortunate than she. Her name was Jane Addams and this paper will focus on her life-long contributions to help the poor.
Jane Addams was born on September 6, 1860, in Illinois. Her mother died when she was only three years old leaving her with only a father and 8 siblings.
Her father became her backbone of her life and was responsible for her learning of the harsh conditions that many less fortunate people were forced to live with. He was the first thing that made her want to help others. "She was devoted to and profoundly influenced by her father, an idealist and philanthropist of Quaker tendencies and a state senator of Illinois for16 years" (Gale 54).
Her determination was seen early in her life. Even though many women were advised not to go to college because they were meant for marriage and not education, at the age of 17, Addams enrolled into a woman college called Rockford Seminary. "During her 4 years at Rockford, she took courses in German, Latin, Greek, history, literature, algebra, and trigonometry. She also studied science-geology, chemistry, mineralogy, and astronomy-as well as music, philosophy and Bible history" ( Kittredge 34). On top of taking...