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The American Revolution: The Changing Role of Women Essay

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The Changing Role of Women: Identify the new ways that women were involved in society in the United States. Be sure to include organizations that developed, meetings they held and actions they took, and results of those actions.

As the century immediately following the American Revolution, the 19th century experienced a rise in feminism as it harbored the first feminist movement in America. Although some women chose to embrace their “roots” by retaining their domestic sphere of influence, many women began to show discontent with the limited number of rights women held. Soon enough, the fight for women’s rights resulted in women gaining more prominence in society.
In the early 19th century, women faced very little options after marriage. They were, almost always, subjected to taking care of their household (e.g. cleaning) and looking after their children (domestic sphere). In the years following the Revolutionary War, women were encouraged to be models of “Republican Motherhood.” With the rise of the market economy (Industrial Revolution) came the rise of the “separate spheres” concept. Men acted as the “bread-winners” and the political leaders, while women were expected to stay at home to care for their family. Some women soon embraced the “cult of domesticity,” and preached that a woman’s place in the world is, indeed, in their homes. Some prominent followers of the “cult” included Catharine Beecher and Susan J. Hale. Catharine Beecher wrote Treatise on Domestic Economy for the Use of Young Ladies in 1841, which acted as a guidebook for women, in which she instructed them how to do their household chores. Sarah J. Hale was the editor of the magazine, Godey’s Lady’s Book. In her magazine, she explained how women ...


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...ho did so were called ‘Lucy Stoners’” (Hippocampus). Interestingly enough, Angelina Grimke, who married the western abolitionist, Theodore Dwight Weld, in 1838, chose to keep her maiden name as well. Amelia Bloomer was created another feminist symbol: the Bloomers. Bloomers were a style of clothing for women that combined a “short skirt over full-length pantalets” (Hippocampus). Bloomers allowed women freedom to move around without losing their modesty.
After the American Revolution, women were encouraged to stay in their home as a means of exerting their influence. However, many women found their domestic sphere very confining, and decided that they wanted the same rights as the men of their country. Although feminism helped further women’s rights, other reform movements, like the abolitionist movement, seemingly undermined the progress made by the women.



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