Background to Orphan Train Movement - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-18
1318 words
5 pages
11 min to read
Carnegie Mellon University
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In the background section, the history of Orphan Train Movement will be stated under this section. The goals that led to its foundation will be highlighted and stipulate the reasons why it was necessary to form the movement. The founder of the movement, Charles Loring Brace, will be discussed and provide the factors that drove him to establish the organization which was critical to the wellbeing of the homeless children. Furthermore, the period in which his movement existed will be stated in the background. The sources that will be used in this section include Brace, Charles Loring. The life of Charles Loring Brace: Chiefly told in his own letters. C. Scribner's sons, 1894 and Warren, Andrea. Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company (1996). These sources contain rich information which is vital in provided references to the ideas stipulated in the background

Strengths of the Orphan Train Movement

In this section, the paper will endeavor to show the strength of the group and related to its success. This will also indicate how Bruce's movement initiated children social reforms in New York for the poor children. Moreover, it will purpose to show that the disadvantaged children in the society were provided with the opportunity to live and work with other families. As a result, many of the children were loved and cared for. Again, the factors that made the movement to be successful in providing help to thousands of children will be a priority in this section. The explained information will be backed by sources including Brown, A. 2011. Orphan trains (1854-1929). Social Welfare History Project. and Langston-George, Rebecca. 2016. Orphan trains: taking the rails to a new life. Again, Goldsmith, Sophie. 2013. The Orphan Train Movement: Examining 19th Century Childhood Experiences. Trinity College Digital Repository. will be a valuable source.

Weaknesses of Orphaned Train Movement

The analysis under this will purpose to prove that, even though the movement is said to be a success, there are a number of weaknesses which heavily impacted on its agenda. The weaknesses were distrustful and hence denoted to be significant barriers. . It will trace how these children were at times mistreated in the placed families and institutions. Additionally, this part of the paper will mention and explain how the train riders also became victims of physical abuse and prejudices. Weaknesses will show that the children faced hostile environments and were separated from their parents and siblings. Besides this part will be indicated that even though Brace started the movement with the aim of fostering care to the homeless children through institutional placement, the motivations behind the movement plainly depicted that it did not represent the interests of the children. His major agenda was to increase juvenile delinquency in cities. He understood the homeless children posed a morality, property and the political life. The sources to be used in this part are Goldsmith, Sophie. 2013. The Orphan Train Movement: Examining 19th Century Childhood Experiences. Trinity College Digital Repository. and Cheney, Kristen E., and Karen Smith Rotabi. 2017. "Addicted to Orphans: How the Global Orphan Industrial Complex Jeopardizes Local Child Protection Systems."

Movement flaws and how it Impacted on its Success

This is an important section as it will inform the flaws that existed in the group. Highlights under this will show how the flaws impeded the movement in executing the laid objectives. It will show how these flaws were the driving forces behind its failure. Simply put, the movement cannot be considered to be a success. This will include a detailed discussion on impacts it had to the children and the society. Cheney, Kristen E., and Karen Smith Rotabi. 2017. "Addicted to Orphans: How the Global Orphan Industrial Complex Jeopardizes Local Child Protection Systems" And Johnson, Kristin F. 2011. The orphan trains. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Company. Will be the sources in this section.

Background to Orphan Train Movement

Charles Loring Brace developed the Orphan Train Movement. This ambitious yet controversial social experiment aimed at relocating the orphaned and homeless children from crowded Eastern U.S. towns to foster homes which were mostly found in the rural regions of the Midwest. This movement occurred between 1854 and 1929, and during this period many abandoned children were successfully re-homed. The movement was a concept designed by Charles Brace in an attempt to resettle orphaned and poor kids living in New York City. Brace has at first realized the alarming amount of homeless children while he worked at a mission center. He then opted to provide approximately 30,000 children that lived on the streets in the 1850s a good home. There were a significant number of children living on the streets of big cities during the 1850s. These kids were in search of shelter, food, and money and they sold newspapers, matches, and rags just to survive.

Strengths of the Orphan Train Movement

Determined to address the situation, the New York Founding Hospital and the Childrens Aid society created a program to take children off the streets of Boston and New York and put them in foster homes located in the American West. Kids were transported by train to their new homes, thus the process earned the name the orphan train movement. The head of the Childrens Aid society, Brace, believed that a strong family set up would assist neglected and victimized kids, ultimately allowing them to fit into society.

Braces primary objective was to see that homeless and orphaned children were successfully integrated into society. However, things did not go as planned. Although some Orphan Train riders were adequately matched with caring families, a large number of these rushed arrangements were unsuccessful, bringing about anything other than the intended outcome or the proposed change.Numerous American families were suspicious of the urban children, and concerned about their character and the potential trouble they could make. Despite being a worthy cause, many families resisted the movement because it lacked clear guidelines and could have been flawed in its implementation.

Weaknesses of the Orphan Train Movement

It is true that the Orphan Train Movement was created for a good cause. Although most kids were placed with good families, some kids were treated as slaves by their families. The program did not define the guidelines that prospective parents should meet to adopt these children. Instead, children were lined up according to their age and the prospective parents would then choose the child they wanted to adopt. It was similar to an auction, in essence they were selling the children for profit. Many of the Orphan Train riders also experienced physical abuse. The communities frequently beat, lynched and denied them food and shelter. The Orphan Train Riders experienced flagrant prejudice. Frequent incidences of discrimination that the riders faced caused emotional distress. The adopting families would often victimize or charge the children of "ill will," banning them from different practices, such as birthday parties or donning occasions. The saddest thing about the attempted program is that sisters and brothers were frequently separated. In fact, the movement often separated the brothers and sisters forever. The use of children fulfilled different residential and agriculture work, and did not receive the sustainability and loving support of families like expected. Without any family dynamic, these emotionless arrangements were dependent upon the child's capacity to perform difficult labor, otherwise families would dispose of the children.

Flaws of the Movement

This is not to say that the Orphan Train Movement was a failure. Furthermore, the concept inspired several American states to enact laws to prevent these short comings from continuing, thus assisting the children. The coveted accomplishment for the Orphan Train Movement relied on the understanding of conceivable systems and real understandings of the social, political, or financial situations, related to urban life. The looming ideological variances brought about by clashing meanings of accomplishment immersed by the expanding of separate ideas of urban versus rural lifestyles and individual versus community points of view.

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