American Revolution: Republican Motherhood

1149 Words5 Pages
After the American revolution many citizens experienced the growth of political power. However, women were excluded from several of these powers. While women were granted some rights after the revolution, there were no significant changes made concerning the status of women. It was at this time that Republican Motherhood became a core idea in America. It suggested that women should receive an education in virtue in order to instruct their sons on how to become upstanding citizens of Americaś republic. After republican motherhood had become a central idea, the Cult of Domesticity emerged, stating that women should be educated in domestic arts and should only be involved in activities concerning religious, domestic, and family affairs. These…show more content…
By distinguishing woman as more moral than men, the ideas of the cult of domesticity spread and more people started to believe that it was the womanś job to preserve the nationś moral compass. While women were deemed morally superior, they were still considered inferior to men physically and intellectually. Purtnamś Monthly Magazine stated that ¨Women are by nature inferior to man. She is inferior in passion, his intellect, and his inferior in physical strength.” (doc 6). This was a similar view among Americans at this time, so it was accepted by society. The Cult of Domesticity increased society’s belief that women were secondary to men and in turn, affected the job opportunities available for women. For example, document 2 demonstrates that most women had a job in domestic service and as the Civil War approached women became very involved in industrial…show more content…
Most servants were young unmarried women. The working conditions for domestic servants were very poor. Servants were often treated badly by their employer, young women especially, would be abused or even raped. “I saw a man forty years my senior daily violating the most sacred commandments of nature. He told me I was his property; that I must be subject to his will in all things.” (doc 7) Men were never punished for their dreadful acts on female slaves. Most wives knew of their husband’s actions, but did little to stop them. The infidelity of their husbands made them jealous of the slave woman, so they did nothing to protect them against their husbands. Black and lower class females were instructed to imitate the practices of the Cult of Domesticity and Republican motherhood, but often could not due to their low social and economic

More about American Revolution: Republican Motherhood

Open Document