National History Day: Breaking Barriers in History

With the generous support of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the Jane Addams Papers and Teacher Education program at Ramapo College of New Jersey, the Jane Addams Papers Project has developed this guide for teachers and students participating in National History Day.

Looking at history through the lens of breaking barriers takes individual historical events and puts them into a broader perspective. It requires an understanding of the social and political dynamics of the time period. Jane Addams's generation of women had limited, yet unprecedented access to education, which gave them more access to professional careers. As women moved into formerly male-only spaces, they broke barriers and changed old systems into new ones. Addams founded Hull-House, helping to launch the settlement movement in the United States, which had been started by men. Additionally, Addams worked as to reform society through the woman suffrage movement, prohibition, labor activism, and efforts to solve the problem of juvenile delinquency.  While these movements included both men and women, women became the leaders. 

In the Jane Addams Digital Edition you will find letters, speeches, articles, and other documents that illuminate this year's themes. We have highlighted a few research topics to get you started, but you can find other topics, subjects, and events that will also fit the theme.

Happy researching!

If you are a teacher and would like to provide feedback on this guide, please fill out this form so we can continue to improve the Jane Addams Digital Edition.

If you are a student and would like to provide feedback on this guide, please fill out this form. Thank you!


Renee DeLora