Gender Roles In Antebellum

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In Antebellum America, gender roles were an important factor in how society ran socially and politically. A middle to upper class woman in the North would rarely be seen outside her home. Women were to be submissive, fragile and stay inside the bounds of their private sphere, which was the home. Men were to be the breadwinners, masculine, and politically engaged. Gender roles in the South were somewhat different than that of the North, but were still heavily patriarchal. Women had little to no say in anything in their personal lives as well as politically because they did not have the right to vote. However, in the mid 1830’s to 1840’s, different moral reform movements such as temperance, sexual morality and abolition swept the Middle-Atlantic…show more content…
Women were to operate on a completely separate sphere than their husbands. A woman’s place according to the cult of domesticity was in the home where everything in her life would be completely privatized. Women had no say in anything politically, that was the man’s job. Women were to Under this thought process, women were “designed exclusively” to be good wives and mothers. Women were expected to be seen and not heard. Women were valued for their purity, piety, and…show more content…
However, in the 1830s and 1840s some women got a chance to receive some freedom from the realms of the home. Early Antebellum America was characterized by prostitution, disease, crime, and violence. These problems afflicted pretty much the entire nation, but hit large cities like New York extremely hard. This made moral reform one of the most predominant movements during the Antebellum Era. In 1834, the New York Female Moral Reform Society was established under the leadership of Lydia A. Finney, the wife of Second Great Awakening revivalist Charles Finney.1 The New York Female Moral Reform Society’s main goal was to reform the prostitution problem in America. In a pamphlet printed by the society, under the heading that is labeled “Our Objective” the reformers included this line, “When the husbands and fathers and sons will come up to this work with the noble spirit they evince in other labors of Christian philanthropy, the wives and mothers and daughters will gladly retire from their present prominent station in the cause of Moral Reform, and become, as they were designed to be, the efficient helpers of the stronger sex.” The reformers made sure to make it evident that although women were helping in the reform movement and stepping outside their boundaries a little bit, that
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