Political and Social Life in the Orient, February 3, 1924 (summary)


Jane Addams in Speech Before Lyceum Crowd

Large Audience Hears Great Program at Young Peoples' Sunday Evening Gathering

Speaking before the largest audience that has crowded Grace Church, 36th St. and Vincennes Ave., during the present season Miss Jane Addams, founder of Hull House and internationally known as a social worker, delivered a very interesting and thorough lecture on the subject of "Political and Social Life in the Orient." Miss Addams, who has very recently returned from an extended tour of Asiatic countries, where she had every opportunity to study conditions in India, China, Japan and the islands, discussed those countries from their different phases and translated her experiences and observations into intimate glimpses of Oriental life.

The speaker began with India. Now, according to Miss Addams, this country, almost unknown to us; its people thought by us to be inscrutable, morose and continually plotting for the overthrow of the government, is as orderly and prosperous as any other government. In spite of the fact that there is a growing sentiment in favor of complete autonomy from the British empire, there is a stable form of government.

Miss Addams divides the revolutionary movement in India into three epochs: (1) Constitutional epoch; (2) An epoch in which a group of "savants" of India scientifically worked for the amelioration of conditions, and (3) That phase in which individualism wielded a tremendous influence on the thought and actions of a majority of Indians. The most outstanding person of this period, according to Miss Addams, was [Gandhi], whose activities were so feared by the British government that his work was hampered by the authorities having him convicted two years ago on a charge of inciting the natives to conspire against England, and he was imprisoned.

From India the speaker made a transition to China and Japan, and touched lightly upon the larger Pacific islands. Miss Addams was introduced by Mrs. Ida B. Wells Barnett, prominently known in club work, local politics and the journalistic field.

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