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Topics: 19th century, Populist Party, Gender role Pages: 5 (1294 words) Published: February 9, 2015
Priscilla Solis
History 108
CRN 25469

A Women’s Journey

Despite the growth of industry, urban centers, and immigration, America in the 19th century was still very rural. The “Cult of Domesticity” first named and identified in the early part of the century, the beliefs embodied in this “cult” gave women a central role in the family. Women’s god given role, it stated was a wife and mother. Pulling against these “beliefs” was the sense of urgency, movement, and progress in the industrial and political changes affecting the country. Women could not help but see themselves in this growth. Women wanted new options, jobs, education and more. Not many women pursued their dream though because many had little to no support, but that difficulty didn’t stop some women from pursuing their goals. Rosa Cassettari and Luna Kellie were two of the women from the same era that decided to pursue the wishes in order to have a better and prosperous life and be able to provide for their families as best as they could. These two women were great examples of how hard but not impossible it was to gain their own freedom and rights aside of what society believed a women’s role was. Even though the faced many hardships and obstacles these two women found the courage to overcome all the bumps in the road and accomplish what they were looking for. They knew women were as strong as men and deserved the equal opportunity in society as men always had.

In 1884 Rosa Cassettari left her home in Italy and joined the stream of migrants from all across Europe bound for America. Many migrants were on the pursuit of happiness better yet the American dream; they believed America was the place to go in order to have a better life. But for Rosa and many of the migrants it was much harder then it seemed. Rosa lived along with her abusive husband Santino, he believed she was only good for one thing which was being a housewife after years of misery and abuse Rosa decided to leave him for good after Santino opened up a prostitution house were he wanted Rosa to work in. Rosa was then in deep trouble since she had no education she was unable to read or write but in the end decided she had to leave and do something for herself and children. For her it was no relief to be in America but she still sought out and traveled to Chicago in look for a better life. In Chicago she received a lot of help and support from many programs for immigrants, which helped her and lead her to finding a job at Chicago Commons. Rosa was able to learn English and educate herself and help other immigrants just like herself get by in a strange, often bewildering city. To read about Rosa Cassettari and how she traveled from Italy to Chicago is to witness one small part of a process set in motion by global needs and once unimaginable aspirations (Oakes 512).

As for Luna Kellie, a young girl who lived in a farm in Minnesota always dreamed of one day being able to raise a family of her own on a farm of her own. At the age of 18, Luna got married had a child and had moved to a homestead in Hastings, Kansas. Life in the farmland fell very short of her dream and expectation. Luna had now been living in a shack and had given birth to 12 children. Luna saw her life go downhill and her dreams shattered, as she couldn’t see any progress for a brighter future for herself and family. As Luna began to give up hope because of how scarce society was at the time Luna found a way to continue with her faith and find a way to accomplish her dreams. Luna then sought out to become more active in the school district, where she took part in discussions over whether women should have the right to vote (Oakes 567). As for her dream to own her own farm, Luna was facing many struggles, Luna Kellie then turned to the Farmers Alliance an association that helped with agricultural woes. When she joined this organization she didn’t do it alone along her 250,000 women also joined the Alliance making it the largest...

Cited: Kellie, Luna, and Jane Taylor Nelsen. A Prairie Populist the Memoirs of Luna Kellie. Iowa City, IA: U of Iowa, 1992. Print.
Oakes, James. "Rosa Cassettari ,Luna Kellie." Of the People: A History of the United States. 2nd Ed., Concise ed. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. 511-512, 567-568. Print.
"Waking to American Reality." Socyberty RSS. 24 Jan. 2011. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. .
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