Change in Women's Ideals Dbq

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The United States woman between 1776 and the 1860’s varied greatly in the ways they went about achieving the ideals of their time. Both sought to better themselves and their families for the over-all betterment of their nation, but neither went about it in quite the same manner as the other. Also race was becoming less of a social barrier than it had been in the 1770’s, which is not to say, however, that it was not a significant stopping power at the time for non-whites and many immigrants from Europe, especially the women. The ideals were similar, but the ways of achieving them were very different in the 1860’s than in the 1770’s, and much more innovative for women’s status in society outside of the homestead. (Doc. C)

In the aftermath of the American Revolution the idea of sexual spheres became known and widely accepted and valued. For with it came the idea of “republican motherhood”, which in essence was the idea that all males should be raised by their mother’s to be virtuous and heavily nationalistic and politically informed. While the daughters were raised to follow in their mother’s footsteps when they were eventually married away. (Doc. A) Republican motherhood also brought about the innovation of limited female education versus their previous status of no education. The general consensus was to give the females limited knowledge of how the male sphere worked so that they may better teach their son’s how to be politically correct on the subjects of their time. (Doc. B) Although the idea of republican motherhood may have opened many doors for women to make their move into society, it also helped to strengthen the idea that women are eternally inferior to men in every way shape and form. (Doc. G)

Approximately 75 years later the industrial revolution made its mark on the American economy and smashed the door wide open for females to once again wedge their foot inside the door of the male sphere of life. Women of all classes were finally given the...
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