There was evidence of progress in the role of white middle class women, between 1815 and 1860, due to the commercial economy and the religious revival brought on by the antebellum market revolution and Second Great Awakening. For these white women, the positive affects can be seen in their dominance within their families, their influential movements for societal reform, and their independence gained form an industrial workplace while the roles of female black slaves were neither improved nor affected.
Although it did not improve the lives of slaves, the antebellum market revolution transformed the home into a separate sphere for women and increased the importance of a white woman’s role as a wife and mother within her family (Doc C). The market revolution provided payment in wages allowing people to purchase products outside of their home with money. As a result women did not have to make as many products at home. Home, previously a center of economic production was now transformed into a place of refuge after a long hard day at work. Much like the idea of republican motherhood, the cult of domesticity expressed the responsibilities of a wife and mother. It presented this concept of how the moral power and authoritative decisions made by these women shaped the lives of their families (Doc G). While white middle class women this increased domestic power, black slaves continued face hardships. Many black mothers were bought without their children and therefore forever separated. (Doc B). Slaves were still not considered part of the population. Therefore role of black women did not change during the antebellum market revolution. The antebellum market revolution brought empowering effects to role of white women within their families.
The Second Great Awakening resulted in the feminization of religion and a women’s movement for reform in society. Charles G. Finney, a talented preacher and leader of the Second Great Awakening, spoke of women’s involvement within...
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