In the early and mid-nineteenth century the roles of women were slowly beginning to change. Up until this point in history, they were mainly housewives, and did not have much of a say in society and the issues that were occurring in the young nation of America. The revival in the second great awakening and the revolutionary changes in economy during antebellum America, allowed women an opportunity to enter the work force, as industry made its way to the northern states.Also women led movements began to be heard by the masses including the temperance movement, the solve to try and improve their rights, and how their families were affected by this sudden change in life style. The industrial revolution began to make its way to major American Cities shortly after the war of 1812. This sudden increase in factories led to the need for a large workforce, and workers with experience in certain areas.
Factories began to hire women mainly for jobs such as sewing and in the TEX tile industry.Their knowledge as housewives gave them the training they needed to fulfill these jobs, and caused them to be specifically sought out by business owners. Another factor that made them desirable workers was that they worked for much less money than men did. By the sass the United Stated had expanded westward, making the demand for the market goods of the northeast rise, bringing in the market revolution. The majority of the working women came from poor farming families, and were looking to make some extra money.The Lowell Plant hired young farm girls to work in the factories, and they were also given quarters to stay in during their free hours. The money to pay for these quarters was deducted from their pay-check, causing hem to virtually be paid almost nothing.
These women would work long hard hours, with little pay, in dangerous conditions that caused many to become injured and is some case, lose their lives. As the 1 8405 came, so did waves of Irish immigrants trying to escape the famish sweeping their home land. These immigrant women threatened the delicate order of the women’s work force.Native white American woman began to lose their jobs and be replaced by cheaper and more effective Irish labor. This caused for the new tenders’ to be hated by Americans, leading to many anti-Loris exploits to be entered. The second revival of Christianity that began around this time period supported the anti-immigrant movements such as the Know-Nothing Party, because they sought to revive the Protestant faith, and resented that of the Roman Catholic Irish. Women were given an outlet of benefit from the men trying to keep faith strong in the growing country in a time of great foreign impact.
Public teaching was promoted, leading women to take a hold on the teaching business, and strive to become educated themselves. The roles Of women were beginning to be questioned and helped inspire women to fight or their rights and equality in the workforce. There were many women that did not approve of the sudden willingness of other women to work in the factories. They believe that a woman’s job was in the house, and that leaving their children and husbands to work was a poor decision.This celebrated theory was the Cult of Domesticity. Due to the Great Awakening women were no longer seen as sinful, and full of evil, but were instead seen as the care takers of the home and the family. Many women embraced this idea, and it reflected through their house hold.
Men used to kook for a wife that could deal with the household well, clean it, and cook for the family also. Their status in society began to depend on how their wife treated their home, and how well she catered to the needs of her family and guests.The growth in the economic market spread their ideas south and west, and they were able to gain much support, and even attempted at Oceans Falls to reform the Declaration of Independence in order to include women in the writing, and gain many deserved rights. Women that were not in the Cult of Domesticity also were very active in these movements. Elizabeth Stanton was one of the main activists involved in the temperance movement, that later worked to help in the struggle for women’s rights and suffrage.As the Civil war grew closer, women also began to speak out against slavery, and work towards its abolition, getting them large amounts of notice on both sides. Women’s role in the family had always been in the house, as America progressed, and industrialized, they were given an opportunity to work alongside men.
Unmarried women began to leave their homes at young ages to find work in the various mills and factories. This work began to prevent hem from latter getting married, and starting a family. Women also tried to make several social reforms that would benefit the ‘family. One such movement was the Temperance movement; women banded together in the hope that they could stop domestic violence and create a safer environment for their children, by stopping the sale of alcoholic beverages to their husbands. The Increase in drinking was one of the many things the immigrants from Europe had brought with them. They used the words of the Bible as their support, and were widely listened to due to the revival in Christianity. The Cult of Domesticity tried to promote women to stay in the household, and do their duty as wives and mothers.
This was in retaliation to the market Revolution, opening its door to working women. Their roles in the family were starting to be affected by their work, and many women were not fond of this. Women began to try and find a middle ground between the t;woo, which led to the teaching industry being dominated by women. The roles of women in the family were greatly affected and were beginning to change, although some women tried to hold on to their old ways, and stay true to their beliefs. The first half of the nineteenth century brought many changes to the role and life of American women.Their ability to work and promote their rights was brought about and spread by the market and industrial revolution, while at the same time society began to view them in a new light due to the second great awakening. Many women joined the workforce, and many chose to celebrate being housewives through the Cult of Domesticity.
Through their many changes and difficulties, the American women were able to still work together to work for the good of the nation, and to indorse their liberty and rights as American citizens.
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