The Foes of Our Own Household

By Theodore Roosevelt | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER VII
SOCIAL JUSTICE; THE BROTHERLY COURT OF PHILADELPHIA

SOCIAL justice means the effort to guard women and children from evil and brutality, and, so far as may be, to secure them against grinding misery. It means also the effort to open the doors of fair dealing to those men who would otherwise find them closed.

We Americans are only on the threshold of the campaign for a better national life. We have only begun to consider our duty toward the child; to realize that the child-drudge is apt to turn into the shiftless grown-up; to realize that the child growing up in the streets has first-class opportunities for tending toward criminality; and, therefore, that playgrounds may be as necessary as schools. We have only begun to realize that the child's mother, if wise and duty-performing, is the only citizen who deserves even more from the state than does the soldier; and that, if in need, she is entitled to help from the state, so that she may rear and care for her children at home. We have only begun to realize that, as

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