Florence Kelley

Leader, Supporter, Reformer

Secondary Sources

What was Florence Kelley trying to reform? What methods did she use to achieve her goal? What impact did she have on her reform movement?

Florence Kelley was a leader suffragist, and social reformer (worldbookonline.com) She fought for women and children rights, for an eight hour work wage, against sweatshops and child labor, and for better working conditions (worldbookonline.com). Kelley began her life as a feminist and social democrat. She strongly believed that women weren’t treated equally and that children were working too much. She gave speeches, made research, and worked hard to defend women and children rights and to help the workers.She spent a part of her life investigating a lot on the conditions of workers in industries, she visited more or less a thousand sweaters' victims in the garment industry, recording their conditions at work and at home (ebscohost.com).

In 1892 she conducted investigations into slum conditions in Chicago and into sweatshops in the tenements, and she wrote an extended report on the sweatshop problem (britannica.com). Her recommendations were then adopted by the Illinois legislature, which in 1893 passed a law limiting women and children's working hours to 8 a day, prohibiting sweatshops, and creating a factory inspector's office with a staff of 12, half of them had to be women (ebscohost.com).

In 1899 Kelley moved to New York City to become general secretary of the new National Consumers League. She worked to promote federal legislation on hours-and-wages and child labour, as well as other reforms (britannica.com). In 1912 the Congress established the Children’s Bureau which was an agency proposed by Florence Kelley and Lillian Wald. From 1899 to 1932 Kelley was the general secretary to the National Consumers League (worldbookonline.com). Kelley was then made chief factory inspector and summarised her highly effective reform strategy in 4 words: investigate, educate, legislate, enforce (ebscohost.com). Kelley was also a leader in the women’s suffrage movement. She was an incredible women who spent her whole life working to help others. Thanks to her children had to work much less, women had more rights, workers had to work for a reasonable amount of time, and many were treated more equally (worldbookonline.com)

Primary Source

Florence Kelley speech on Child Labor and Women Suffrage


Florence Kelley is the author of this speech, she is talking against child labor in the U.S. and for women suffrage

The speech took place on July 22, 1905 in Philadelphia

Florence Kelley was a woman suffragist, she fought for women and children's rights, and for the amount of hours spent working

The speech was for the National American Women Association

Kelley wrote this speech to inform the women and the people who read or heard the speech about child labor at the time. She wanted to inform everyone on the different age ranges and the different hours the children had to work, and how she was against it.

The speech is about child labor. Kelley talks about the different ages and the different work hours. She explains how simply inhuman and not healthy it was for such a young child to work for that many hours. She talks about how some states have no laws at all against child labor and how unfair it is. She also explains that if women had the right to vote the child la or would of been abolished long before

This speech is incredibly important, because is shows what kind of a woman she was and what she wanted to do. She believed strongly in her ideas and talked to others about the problems of the time to find a solution. She helped spread “awareness” on the situation of the time. With her speech she reveals that the women’s suffrage movement was closely related, in this case, with the prohibition of child labor movement

Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice

Florence Kelley fought against..

a) women suffrage

b) child labor

c) 8 hour work wage

d) sweatshops

e) b and d