Women's Changing Role in History

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Northern Middle Class Women between 1776 and 1876- DBQ 2
Between 1776 and 1876, many events and occurrences added to the ever changing view of women, such as the Industrial Revolution, the Market Revolution, the Second Great Awakening, the Women’s Rights movement, and the Civil War. The advancement of manufactured goods, the inspiration of egalitarianism, and the outspoken leaders of this time opened the door to greater opportunities and rights for women. In this time period, the role and status of women drastically changed, due to the revolutionized view of women, socially, economically, and politically.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, women were needed in the home, as well as the whole family. The family worked together to meet its needs, as seen in Document D, with the man weaving and the women spinning (Doc D). However, with the coming of the Industrial Revolution, this was changed. What was once homemade became factory made. And instead of providing for the family with agriculture, the man of the family earned an income by working in factories. During this time period, it was the woman’s responsibility to instill civic virtue in her children, now known as Republican Motherhood (Doc F). With the Market Revolution and the creation of a “national market”, women began to work outside the home, as factory workers, teachers, and nurses (Doc E). Thus, using their previous experience outside the home to help earn an income. This social change gave women new opportunities. Their education became more vital because they became the educators, rather than the males. The advancement of women’s education was greatly influenced by Emma Willard, who supported and promoted women’s education at this time. She founded the first school for women’s higher education, Troy Seminary. This expanded women’s role in society as educators because they now had the opportunity to learn subjects that had before been reserved for males only, such as mathematics, philosophy,...
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