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The Roles of Women from 1890-1929

            In the articles "Hull House in the 1890s: A Community of Women Reformers" and "Women and the Ku Klux Klan: Klan Women in Indiana in the 1920s, "we see the political agendas and roles of women change within the two different time periods. In both the 1890s and the 1920s, women found comfort and support in joining organizations with political, social and economic goals." These two specific articles examine women's groups and their political influence both before and after they had the right to vote. While both the Hull House in the 1890s and the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s had strong political, social and economic influences, Hull House set out to improve the lives of their families and communities, and after armed with the right to vote in the 1920s, the KKK re-emerged, and while its influence was evident, it was driven by hatred. .
             Women reformers in the 1890s had very positive and united goals, while women KKK members in the 1920s exemplified a dwindling political influence and diversified ideologies. Women of the Chicago Hull House were one of the most politically efficient groups of women reformers in our nation's history. One of their most notable political campaigns was the anti-sweatshop legislation headed by Florence Kelley in 1893, which mandated an eight-hour workday for women and children and called for a state factory inspector with a staff of twelve-including at least five women. This was made possible because Hull House had many ties with other groups and communities of women which gave it the ability to gain a great deal of support for the antisweatshop legislation. In comparison, Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK) opposed immigration, racial equality, Jewish-owned businesses, parochial schools and moral decay. A notable activity that Klanswomen took part in was attempting to reform the public schools of that time. Klanswomen wanted to have Catholic teachers fired and racial segregation in schools.

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