How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Paul, C.A. (2016). Jane Addams (1860-1935). Social Welfare History Project. In socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/settlement-houses/addams-jane/ Addams maintained a robust definition of democracy that went far beyond the conception of democracy, only as a political structure. For Addams, democracy was both a way of life and a social morality. She saw democracy as a recognition that the lives of citizens are interconnected and that this relationship creates a duty to understand the struggles and circumstances of her fellow citizens. Reciprocity of social relations is essential to give citizens the sensitive foundation needed to boost democracy. Social settlements were experiences in the kind of democracy that Addams was trying to promote: active social engagement. The definition of Addams` democracy is the most evident in democracy and social ethics, where it highlights two equivalencies. First, the moral theory of modern times must emphasize social ethics. Second, for Addams, democracy is a social ethic.
Harvard University Library. (n.d.) Jane Addams (1860-1935). Harvard University Library Open Collections Program. Viewed by ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/addams.html Twenty Years at Hull House (reproduced online). digital.library.upenn.edu/women/addams/hullhouse/hullhouse.html) Nobel Prize. www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1931/addams-bio.html In recent ideals of peace, Addams has made it clear that she sees peace more than the absence of war. For Addams, peace was a chance for social progress, because people were able to achieve social goals together. Like many at the end of the 19th century, Addams saw social change as a step towards greater peace and social harmony. Collective peace was linked to peaceful individual relations, so community activism was an effort for peace. For example, helping immigrants succeed in the United States was an act of peace. In this way, given their commitment to democratic social progress achieved through a collective commitment to promote sympathetic knowledge, Addams extrapolates that war is socially regressive.
The armed conflict puts an end to rational and passionate talks that hinder the agreement necessary for social growth. War makes opponents the ultimate adversaries – someone who is so foreign that it is possible to kill them – who create the antithesis of sympathetic knowledge. Addams not only anticipates the ethics of care, it adds to this moral approach a high level of social responsibility.