• amanda0195



  • Family was economic and social center of colonial life

  • People married at a younger age and reared more children than in Europe

  • Average number of children: 8

  • More than 90% lived on farms.

  • Household work

  • Cooking, cleaning, making clothes medical care, educating children

  • Women worked next to husbands in the shops/plantations/farms.

  • Divorce was legal but rare.

  • Women had limitedlegal and political rights

  • Great Awakening

  • Mostly women


  • Homespun

  • Republican motherhood

  • Molly Pitcher

  • During the American Revolution, some women followed their en into the armed camps and worked as cooks and nurses

  • Some women, like Mary McCauley (Molly Pitcher) took up arms when their husbands were unable to fight.


  • Abigail Adams

  • Abigail regularly advised her husband, President John Adams

  • Adams: "I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors."

  • Phillis Wheatley

  • Former slave, writer


  • As American society became more urban and industrialized, nature of work and family changed for women.

  • Many women no longer worked next to their husbands on family farms

  • Women who wanted to work in the city had only two choices: domestic service or teaching

  • Lowell System

  • First factory job for young, single women.


  • Life for women in the sparsely settled West was very difficult

  • Isolation, endless work, rigors of childbirth = short lifespans.


  • Women abolitionists who had attended a conference in London were not allowed entry

  • Inspired some to hold a meeting in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848



  • Supported by Louis Brandeis

  • Drew on sociological studies to determine that women had less strength and endurance than men

  • Determined that long hours of labor were dangerous for women because of their unique ability to bear children.

  • Case upheld the Oregon law limiting women’s workday to ten hours in factories and laundries


  • Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA)

  • Threw support of 2 million members into war effort

  • Promoted food conservation

  • And distributed emergency relief through organizations such as Red Cross

  • President Carrie Chapman Catt

  • Declared that women had to prove their patriotism to win the ballot

  • National Women’s Party (NWP)

  • Alice Paul

  • Quaker who had worked in the settlement movement

  • Earned PhD in political science

  • Found that as a NAWSA lobbyist that congressmen dismissed her.

  • Paul founded NWP in 1916

  • Inspired by militant British suffragists

  • Group began July 1917 to picket the White House

  • Paul and other NWP activists faced arrest for obstructing traffic

  • Sentenced to 7 months in jail

  • Protested by going on hunger strike – forced fed by prison authorities

  • More confrontational

  • Drew attention to suffrage cause



  • Impressed by NWSA’s patriotism and worried by NWPs militancy

  • Anti-suffrage Wilson reversed position

  • Jan. 1918 urged support for women suffrage as a “war measure.”

  • Constitutional amendment quickly passed House of Reps

  • Took 18 months to get through Senate

  • And another year to win ratification by states

  • August 26, 1920

  • Tennessee voted for ratification

  • 19th Amendment became law.

  • Neither Catt’s patriotism nor Paul’s militaristic protest might have worked without extraordinary impact of Great War.

  • Before 1914

  • Only places where women had full suffrage were New Zealand, Austrlia, Finland and Norway.

  • After WWI

  • Soviet Union first – 1917

  • Great Britain and Canada followed in 1918

  • By 1920: Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, US

  • Not France and Italy – not until after WWII

  • Switzerland – 1971


  • Provided federal funds for medical clinics, prenatal education programs and visiting nurses.

  • Opponents fear it would lead to socialized medicine

  • Improved healthcare for the poor and lowered infant mortality.

“NEW WOMAN” 1920s

  • Flapper girls

  • Name from the way their arms “flapped” when dancing (like the wings of a bird)

  • Alcohol

  • Ironically it became easier for women to drink alcohol during Prohibition

  • Speakeasies more accepting of women than old saloons

  • “New Woman”

  • More divorces

  • Cigarettes and alcohol

  • Short skirts and hair

  • Breasts minimized

  • Opponents to out of control women

  • Traditionalism v. modernity


(See DBQ - "Explain the causes of the rise of a women's rights movement in the period 1940-1975" )


  • Promoted by Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party

  • Proposed eliminating all legal distinctions “on account of sex”

  • Paul reasoned: after political equality, women no longer required special legal protection

  • But needed access to employment, education and other citizen opportunities.

  • By 1972 ERA was ratified by 28 of 38 required states

  • But campaigned failed

  • 1970s Phyllis Schlafly campaigned against ERA

  • Feared that it would take away privileges already given to women

  • Like alimony, child support exemption from Selective Service (the draft

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

1892 described the "solitude of self"

rejected claim that women didn't need equl rights because they ejoyed men's protection.

"The talk of sheltering woman from the fierce storms of life is the sheerest mockery, they beat on her from every point of the compass , just as they do on man, and with more fatal results, fo he has been trained to protect himself"

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