American Women In The Late 1800's

1424 Words6 Pages
American women in the late 1800’s received unequal treatment, even more so than in today’s society. Not only were they treated unfairly, they could not even vote until 1920. Moreover, they were unable to obtain certain jobs, and if they did get a job it was from the home. Furthermore, women had little to no say in their decisions. They often had their husbands either picked for them, or mutually agreed upon. Not only could women not work outside the home for a long time, but they also did not decide whether they worked or not. Furthermore, women have been treated unequally in today’s society, but were treated even more unequal during the late 1800’s because they were unable to obtain certain jobs, could not vote, and had little or no say in…show more content…
Having said that, most jobs they could get were “women’s work” jobs, which are jobs that men declare are specifically for women. If a woman did have her own job, she was not allowed to keep her own earnings. However, many women were occupied as either teachers or nurses during the Civil War, and some even took over their husband’s job. During the war, women were not allowed to fight. However, around four hundred women disguised themselves as men in order to fight alongside their husbands and sons. What’s more is that after the war, and after men found out that some women were in the war, the ideology that women couldn’t vote became transparent. More and more men were becoming okay with women being independent, and more women voting. After the Civil War, the number of age earning women in America increased by sixty-six percent. Yet, they were still not supposed to work outside of the home. It was a bit of a taboo to see a woman working outside of the home. Firstly in 1870, only 4.5% of Caucasian women worked outside the home, secondly only 30 % of African American women worked outside the home, and thirdly only 40.5% of all unmarried women worked outside the home. On the other hand, women finally held white collar jobs at the end of the century. They now had jobs in teaching, sales, garment industries, offices, and could even become doctors or surgeons. Along with the increase in jobs for…show more content…
During the late 1800’s, divorce was a word affiliated with “Tyranny, Misrule, and Injustice” (“Divorce and Desertion” 2). It all started in 1849, when divorce was made federally illegal. The punishment was harsh, having women put to death or thrown in prison for “abandoning their mate,” and the punishment usually fell upon the woman. As a result, many women were trapped in abusive relationships, many of which ended up with the woman fleeing or being worked to death. If a woman ran from her husband, the law was involved. Wanted posters would be hung up, and occasionally search parties would be formed. If a divorce took place, the woman had officially committed an “infamous act of crime by destroying the happiness of her mate” (“Divorce and Desertion” 2). Not only was it illegal however, it was also coined “morally and religiously heinous” (“Divorce and Desertion” 3). Horace Greely, with his anti-divorce campaign, attacked women’s divorce issues. In 1890, Indiana made divorce legal for everyone. Greely perused and attacked this law publicly, and claimed that “people who live in Indiana or visit Indiana can get unmarried nearly at pleasure” (“Divorce and Desertion” 3). After Horace labelling Indiana a divorce mill, they tightened their laws. After Indiana however, Utah, Fargo, North and South Dakota, Soux Falls, and the Oklahoma Territory became the
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