The era spanning 1750 CE and 1914 CE was the era of revolutions. These revolutions were political, economic, and cultural, and usually very drastic. Perhaps the most visible cultural change was that in working-class women's rights and conditions, which improved significantly during the era of revolutions. The most visible improvements in women's rights were seen in Western Europe and China, where women gained many rights but remained under patriarchal authority and could not vote.
Western Europe was the home of revolution. Social revolution grew out of Europe, and Renaissance men and women heralded human rights. Revolutions of the people were built upon the support of women, and in women used their dedication during wartime to garner support for peace-time rights. Women in Western Europe tried to harness the spirit of freedom, equality, and popular sovereignty. It was during the era of revolution that large women's rights movements were established, providing women with their own unions. Enlightenment thinkers presented very convincing arguments for female rights, and in many cases persuaded governments to grant women rights such as free public education, inheritance, and legalized divorce. However, little in terms of actual rights were achieved.
In China, industrialization had become a part of life following the mid-eighteenth century. Unlike European industrializing power, China industrialized while relatively remote from other industrial nations, allowing it to develop its own strand of industrialization. Before industrialization, the humiliating practice of foot binding was very popular. Girls were often victims of infanticide, as boys could grow up to become government officials whereas girls would be married and become subservient to another family. Population growth in China caused by industrialization led to social change, and social revolution came in the form of the Taiping program, which decreed that men and women were equal. Though quickly put...
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