Women's Roles In The 1800s

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During the early to mid-nineteenth century women’s roles were seen to be confined to domestic affairs, but this phase would only lead to a stronger voice for women coming from within the home. The Second Great Awakening in the early 1800’s sparked a need for religion in the American culture. Women dominantly filled the churches leaving men to fend the vices of the world alone. In efforts to bring religion back, a new role for women was formed, the Cult of True Womanhood (Ginzberg 8). The ideal woman of this time period was a pure, feminine, and submissive woman that was always considered inferior to men mentally and physically (Lavender 1). Women thus became the face of religion, and became their job to convert the men of the country back…show more content…
The women began to notice that if they were trying to teach their family pure morals inside of the home and then continued to send their family into the dark and wretched world, they were only digressing. This new idea started what we now know as, the Public Sphere. Women felt that it was their jobs to fix problems for people such as slaves, widows, drunks and many other immoral groups (Ginzberg 10). The Public Sphere of women was simply the idea that the rest of our world needed to be reformed into a moral place to ensure that our families would be positively influenced. This change from the domestic sphere to the public sphere showed a change in women’s influence on religion and social aspects of the early American society. Because the influence spread to outside of the home women were able to begin many reform movements resulting in an increased voice in the world. The public sphere helped improve the overall social influence of women by increasing interaction with the outside world while implying their influence to make a…show more content…
After women’s influence spread outside of the home into the public eye the women then felt it was their duty to make the world a perfect place. One of the main reform movements started by the women was the Temperance Movement, designed to moderate the use of alcohol in America. The average alcohol consumption at this time was seven gallons of pure alcohol per person in the United States, and most of this consumption was mostly credited to the men. Drinking became excessive and in many cases dangerous to the women and the children inside the home. Many Americans, mostly women, signed a contract stating they would never drink again, and they were known as Teetotalers. By 1857 twelve states in the union had banned alcohol use completely, showing the influential aspect of women in this reform movement. Through their role in the public sphere they began to reform society into the virtuous place they believed it should be. This was the first reform movement in which women had officially stepped outside of the home to take a stand about. The Temperance Movement marked a huge step for women concerning the public hearing their voice and opinions, and this was only the beginning of many reform movements that would ultimately shape the American culture (Ginzberg
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