Women's Roles in Nineteenth-century America

Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 - 210 Seiten
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The nineteenth century has been referred to as the Woman's Century, and it was a period of amazing change and progress for American women. There were great leaps forward in women's legal status, their entrance into higher education and the professions, and their roles in public life. In addition, approximately two million African American female slaves gained their freedom. Women's Roles in Nineteenth-Century America examines how economic, political, and social factors in the United States affected women's roles and how women themselves helped shape history. Each thematic chapter addresses ideas about women's proper roles as well as women's experiences of living in the nineteenth century. While the dominant ideas about appropriate gender roles originated from within the white Protestant and primarily middle-class culture, each chapter compares those ideas with the reality of different women's daily lives, integrating information on European American, African American, Native American, and immigrant women, and women of different socioeconomic and religious backgrounds and regions. Students and general readers will come away with a solid understanding of marriage and family life, the boundaries between home and public life, work, the intricacies of social and political reform, and new directions in religious and literary roles and the multicultural histories of the American West.

Chapter 1, Marriage and Family Life, looks at women's roles and relationships as daughters, wives, and mothers, as well as the roles of women who remained single, either by choice or circumstance. Slave marriages and interracial marriages are also discussed, as well as reformers' attacks on and attempts to provide alternatives to traditional marriage. Chapter 2 on Work acknowledges women's unpaid work within the household economy as well as their entrance into the paid workforce beginning in the nineteenth century. Chapter 3, Religion, explores women's roles in as churchgoers, reformers, missionaries, and preachers. Chapter 4 on Education examines a century that began with almost no women having access to formal education-and most black women denied any education all-and ended with women making up nearly half of all college graduates and in leading roles as teachers, college administrators, and even college presidents. Women had also made several first entrances into professions requiring advanced educations, such as medicine, the law, and the ministry. Chapter 5, Politics and Reform, explains how women were consistently active in public life throughout the century. Chapter 6, Slavery and Civil War, looks at the experience of enslaved women, their survival and resistance, as well as their first experiences of freedom during and after the Civil War. The chapter also explores the ways in which both black and white women participated in and were affected by the Civil War. Chapter 7 on The West discusses the process of relentless westward movement in the nineteenth century through the perspective of women, whether the thousands of pioneer women who traveled into and settled the west, or the native women who were confronted with and challenged by those settlements. Finally, Chapter 8, Literature and the Arts, shows that while traditional studies of high culture have focused largely on a male canon of writers and artists, women in fact contributed to establishing an American tradition of literature and the arts.

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Ausgewählte Seiten


Marriage and Family Life
Education and the Professions
Politics and Reform
Slavery and the Civil War
The West
Literature and the Arts
Selected Bibliography

Häufige Begriffe und Wortgruppen

Beliebte Passagen

Seite 17 - By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law: that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband...
Seite 60 - He allows her, in Church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.
Seite 60 - He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration. He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction which he considers most honorable to himself, As teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.
Seite 3 - DUTIES ; Or, Instructions to Young Married Ladies on the Management of their Households, and the Regulation of their Conduct in the various Relations and Duties of Married Life. By Mrs. W.
Seite 110 - Resolved That woman has too long rested satisfied in the circumscribed limits which corrupt customs and a perverted application of the Scriptures have marked out for her, and that it is time she should move in the enlarged sphere which her great Creator has assigned her.
Seite 30 - In no country has such constant care been taken as in America to trace two clearly distinct lines of action for the two sexes, and to make them keep pace one with the other, but in two pathways which are always different.
Seite 60 - He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.
Seite xxviii - Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Seite 35 - commander ' whose heart must be as black as his craft, who is paid a dollar a head for all he brings to the market, and more in proportion to the distance — if they bring them from such a distance that they cannot easily get back.
Seite 4 - Like the patriarchs of old our men live all in one house with their wives and their concubines, and the mulattoes one sees in every family exactly resemble the white children — and every lady tells you who is the father of all the mulatto children in everybody's household, but those in her own she seems to think drop from the clouds, or pretends so to think.

Über den Autor (2007)

Tiffany K. Wayne, a former Affiliated Scholar of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University, teaches U.S. history and American women's history at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. She is the author of Woman Thinking: Feminism and Transcendentalism in 19th-Century America (2005) and Encyclopedia of Transcendentalism (2006).

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