HIS 204 American History Since 1865
Professor Angela Cranon-Charles
August 5, 2012
The role of women has changed drastically throughout history. Women were once thought to only be able to stay at home and tend the house and family. Women were isolated in their domestic sphere; however they did not stay there. Women faced many struggles during their battle to end their isolation from the idea of gender roles within the workforce to the belief that women are not equal to men and therefore do not deserve the same rights as men. Before 1865 women had very few rights. Her legal standing depended upon her marital status, and once she was married everything became her husbands. She could not control or acquire any property, she was not allowed to control any wages she earned, she could not transfer or sell any property, and she could not bring a lawsuit, or sign any contract. Her life rested solely in the hands of her husband. Women were expected to maintain the home which included cooking and cleaning. They were also expected to bear children and spend their days focused on those children.
In 1840 something began to shift when two women, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, met and discussed having a convention to address the situation of women. It took eight years for them to get back together and hold the convention known as The Seneca Falls Convention. The Declaration of Sentiments and its resolutions were presented to a group of three hundred people, including forty men. This stated that men and women were created equal and had a right to equality in all spheres including the right to vote. All of the resolutions were eventually passed. Afterwards they had to deal with ridicule and sarcasm. For example Frederick Douglass wrote "a discussion of the rights of animals would be regarded with far more complacency by many of what are called the wise and the good of our land, than would be a discussion of the
References: Bowles, M. (2011). A history of the United States since 1865. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education. Diane, D. (March 11, 2011). American History of Women in the 1990s. Retrieved from http://www.infobarrel.com/American_History_of_Women_in_the_1990s Evans, S. (2012). Women’s Liberation Movement. Retrieved from http://www.ourvoiceourcountry.org/research/womens-liberation-movement.aspx National Organization for Women Statement Purpose. (1966). Retrieved from http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/111now.html Partners in Winning the War: American Women in World War II. (2007). National Women’s History Museum Pioneer Women: How the West was Really Won, (March 26, 2010), Friends of Homestead National Monument of America Radek, K. M. (2001). Women in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. Women in Literature. Retrieved from http://www2.ivcc.edu/gen2002/twentieth_century.htm Reforming Their World: Women in the Progressive Era. (2007). National Women’s History Museum Sarna, M. (January 13, 2004). Women Role-ing Into 21st Century: Women 's Lifestyles Now Focus on Education, Jobs Stathopoulos, V. (2012). Christa McAuliffe. Retrieved from http://www.aerospaceguide.net/women_in_space/christa_mcauliffe.html Women Who Fought for the Vote. (2012). The History Channel website. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/women-who-fought-for-the-vote