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Women Who Changed American History

An individual can influence or change the life of their nation or the entire world, and history includes various examples when one person’s actions became a turning point. Among these responsible historical figures were such women as Claudia Jones, Jane Addams, and Chien-Shiung Wu, who impacted the course of lives for the society. Indeed, the American “change over time” experience expanded the opportunities for women to improve their lives and impact the nation (Agnew, 2017). This paper aims to explore how the actions, decisions, and leadership of Claudia Jones, Jane Addams, and Chien-Shiung Wu changed the history of America.

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Until the nineteenth century, the female role was to serve men, thus fighting for equality in working and voting rights became the theme of influence on history for women. Jane Addams, the social worker and suffrage movement supporter believed that women must have voices in legislation. Addams promoted her ideas via publications, lectures and established the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in 1915 (Agnew, 2017). Addams’s leadership helped expand feministic rights, and approaches for women decrease social and military conflicts.

As women received an opportunity to get jobs, their influence increased in crucial parts of American history such as fighting against racial disparities. In the post World War II period, the African American journalist Claudia Jones applied communistic ideas to eliminate inequality (Lindsey, 2019). The “An end to the neglect of the problems of the negro woman!” written by Jones in 1949 revealed the toughness of the female role and forced society to address the problem.

Within the increase of rights for women, their impact expanded to the economy, legislation, and science. The latter must be emphasized as the most influential because the way the world develops now is due to discoveries and innovations. Chien-Shiung Wu, the “first lady of physics,” disproved the law of conserving parity and changed the course of science towards a more profound exploration of atoms (Indumathi, 2020). The change over time allowed Asian-American women to impact history through their discoveries.

The role of women in American society is now admitted as equally significant as men’s. Women improved living conditions for all after becoming allowed to receive education, get a job, vote, and build their careers beyond the family nest. Moreover, Chien-Shiung Wu and Claudia Jones showed that the civil movements helped female representatives of the racial minorities receive equal rights and influence history.


Agnew, E. N. (2017). A will to peace: Jane Addams, World War I, and “pacifism in practice.” Peace & Change, 42(1), 5-31. Web.

Indumathi, D. (2020). Chien-Shiung Wu: The first lady of physics. Resonance, 25(3), 333-352. Web.

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Lindsey, L. (2019). Black Lives Matter: Grace P. Campbell and Claudia Jones – An analysis of the Negro question, self-determination, Black belt thesis. Journal of Pan African Studies, 12(9).

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