American Women In The 19th Century

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The nineteenth century american society characterized by, generally speaking, gender inequality. American woman`s live was shaped “ by those dramatic forces that shaped all Americans: politics, economics, social upheaval, wars, depressions, disease,[and] protest movements.” In such a society woman enjoyed few rights whether these rights were socially, politically or legally. From a social point of view, American woman remained under the authority of her father and husband. A married woman was expected to stay at home, to cook, to raise children, to run the household and to create what might be called a heavenly atmoshere for her husband. She was a symbol of virtue who…show more content…
This period was the half of the nineteenth century that joined two different eras: the beginning and the end of the century. In this time woman started to be an active member in the society whether socially , politically or intellectually. Perhaps the most remarkable change occured in society was women`s rights movement that came to be known as Feminism. The main goal of this movement was to gain equality for woman. In this concern Elizabeth Cady Staton, the leader of the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA)(1815-1902), argued that women must achieve equality with men, “ women are to do whatever they find to do with all their might. They are to be properly trained for business,profession, or art.” Other goals were to get vote, higher education and to study any field of knowlege that woman`s wanted like medicine or law or even enter military service which were exclusively male`s professions. Above all Feminism ask for woman`s right in the custody of her children in the case of divorce. In addition, Feminists asked for “ birth control and abortion.” Feminists believed that woman had the right to work and earn money, also to think and to have an opinion different from that of her husband and father. They had a great faith in education believing that when a person was correctly educated this would influenced his decisions. Decisions that would return in help and progress for one`s society. This was their theory concerning education. John Stuart Mill, an English philosopher and a faithful supporter for Feminism(1806-1873), believed in this theory; he comments on it saying “ Education would transform an
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