Womens Rights

Topics: Women's suffrage, Woman, Women's rights Pages: 2 (527 words) Published: February 27, 2012
Women AP essay q-3

1840-1890’s women’s activists in the intellectual, social, economic, and political spheres effectively challenged traditional attitudes about women’s place in society” Asses the validity of this statement.

During the Colonial era and the first decades of the United States, there have always been women who strove to secure equal rights for themselves and others. Some assumed the business interests of a husband after his death. A few women challenged male domination of religious life. Women were also active in the fight against black oppression and slavery. During the struggle for independence, prominent females such as Abigail Adams wrote and spoke privately about the need for male leaders to rectify the inferior position of women and through acts such as the republican mother hood and the cult of domesticity. But only later, over the course of the nineteenth century, did women's demands for equal rights change from a series of isolated incidents to an organized movement but in the time frame of the 1840’s to the 1890’s these movements played little impact towards the acquisition of equal rights for women. Through history one of the major factors that led to women’s failures for

equality early in American history was the cult of domesticity. The cult of domesticity was the idea of a perfect women in the early 1840’s that was based around 4 characteristics: Piety, Purity, submission and domesticity. Piety was a woman’s devotion to her religion, purity was that a woman remained a virgin; submission was that a woman would be passive towards men and domesticity was that a woman belonged in the house. These ideals set women back so far because they were widely endorsed in sermons, churches, and even women’s magazines and this ideal left a haunting impact that remained for years to come. One of the main activists for abolition and African American rights were women. Women believed that by lobbying for black rights they could gain...
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