Before the nineteenth century and New Era began for women in America, in the late 1800’s women appeared in their lives as legally and socially inferior to men, especially their husbands. Lower and working class women were just as, if not more equal to men. American women, even being involved with the American Revolution were still expected to marry and and be the housewife rather than to have a career of their own.
Under the legal principle of coverger, husbands held authority over the person, property, and choices of their wives. Considering women weren’t able to own property, and owning property had been a requirement to vote at the time, females were neglected from the political process. In result, citizens of the New Republic were mostly males, but women approved of their status by the ideology of Republican Motherhood. They were seen just as important within the new republic because they were providing and raising the children, who would eventually be leaders of the future, especially male children. Women were expected to educate for their children’s future but not for their own. This ideology promoted women’s claim to education so they could teach their children.
American women experienced serious effects from the market revolution as well. Since production altered from home to factories and away from women bringing forth new things themselves rather, this lead to the idea of cult of domesticity. The cult of Domesticity ruled that a woman’s place was in the home. Rather than her bringing forth to the table, a husband should be the one to provide food, a home, as well as what some people may call non market values such as companionship, or love with their spouse. Female Radicalist Katherine Stowe, once said, ” Women is to win everything by peace and love; By making herself so much respected esteemed and loved that to yield to her opinions and to gratify her wishes will be the free will offering of the heart.
But the moment women begin to feel the promptings of ambition, ot the thirst for power, her aegis of defense is gone…”. Her idea is based upon the notion that men didn’t bring forth the ideology of cult of domesticity. Men and women both refrained from expressing equality with one another because of how deep-rooted it had been.
Womens opportunities in the work field were very scarce and most available jobs for women were very low in wages. Some middle class women found work in teaching, or in nursing but the cult of domesticity held that a respectable middle class women should stay at home. It wasn’t till later on in the decade of the nineteenth century where women began to voice their opinions, become activists and become involved with changing the way things were and were going to be for generations to come for women of America. The major social, economic and political occurrences of the last 100 years that resulted in the current position that women hold in the United States today is within Various Reform movements, contributions to the anti slavery movement, and advocates who were fighting to overturn not just laws, but also attitudes of people. There are three main reasons that support this claim.
The truth was most American women had no chance to work for profit outside their houses, so many women found work outside traditional spheres in reform movements. Many women were also important contributors to the anti slavery movement although they tended to have most subordinate roles.