Women in the 1800's Dbq

Topics: Abolitionism, Harriet Beecher Stowe, American Civil War Pages: 6 (2404 words) Published: February 17, 2013
DBQ Project Final Draft

Women in the late 1700s had practically no rights. In 18th century America, the men represented the family. Women couldn’t do practically anything without consulting their fathers, or if they were married, their husbands. Then, in the early 19th century, Republican Motherhood began to take a stronger place in American society. Republican Motherhood reinforced the idea that women, in their domestic sphere, were much separate from the public world of men, but also encouraged the education of women and heightened the importance and dignity of their traditional domestic role which had been missing from the previous image of women’s work. Republican Motherhood also gave women the role of promoting republicanism values. Women were to raise children to be strong patriots, self-sacrificing, and to always think of the greater good for the country. Christian ministers promoted the ideals of Republican Motherhood, deeming it an appropriate path for women as opposed to the more radical and public role promoted by such abolitionists as Mary Wollstonecraft and her contemporaries. Modesty and purity were naturally in women’s essence, giving them a singular ability to promote Christian values in their children. By the early 19th century towns and cities were providing new opportunities for girls and women and the education of women was seen as more important than before. Although women’s rights were greatly improved, women still did not obtain the right to vote, nor did they seem any closer to getting it. The Market Revolution led to factories and new inventions, like the typewriter, and women began to start working and providing for themselves. Although these were new job opportunities for women, many of the jobs were dangerous and the work places unsanitary. The impact of various ideas brought women to the western frontier during the era of Manifest Destiny. Many women went to the western front to find fortune and a new start. Women’s domestic skills were appreciated more out in the frontier because of the lack of civilization and innovations. In the early 19th century religious movement called the Second Great Awakening began to make its way through America. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800, and, after 1820 membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations, whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the 1840s, but its impact remained strong, especially with women. Between 1800 and 1850, women played a role in reforming old fashioned institutions, aiding abolition, and fighting for women’s suffrage.

The Second Great Awakening has been described as a movement against skepticism, deism, and rational Christianity. Arminian theology, where everyone could find absolution through conversion, repentance, and revivals, was greatly expressed in this movement. During the Second Great Awakening, the establishment of many reform movements designed to remediate the evils of society were put in place to prepare for the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Second Great Awakening started with a great number of new revivals that gradually proceeded to take the form of prominent religious movements. The period before the Second Great Awakening, the Jacksonian era, saw a large degree of religious experimentation and innovations. Hundreds of new religions and cults were established in this era, like Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventists, and Christian Scientists. This period also brought dozens of utopian communes, like the Shakers and the Oneida collective. The changing, transformative economy of the Jacksonian era greatly altered people’s sense of their relations to their family and to their coworkers. Religion in this period and the Second Great Awakening inspired a large range of intense reform movements including temperance crusades, Sabbath laws, anti-prostitution laws, women’s rights, and eventually abolition. The women’s rights movement came from female...
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