Women started to challenge their domestic roles over time by using the war, westward expansion and abolitionist movements and by ultimately taking advantage of the liberties they were given. Because they were proven to be sufficiently skillful in activites during the Revolution and Civil War they were able to expand their roles after the war both socially and also in education.
From the time the abolition and temperance movements started in the early 1830s, women, both white and black, started to become more outspoken about the rights they feel are being denied to women and African Americans. Their role in the temperance and abolition movements gave them the needed tools to change women's roles. An African American woman by the name of Maria Stewart, the first African American woman to speak in public, iniated a lecture to her people to convince them to take pride in their race and their heritage by joining the fight of the abolition movement. This was also significant of how women's roles have changed over time because this was the first time an American-born woman spoke in public. Her address in 1833 addressed the cause of abolition and comments that "we have planted the vines, they have eaten the fruits of them" which is talking about the role of sexism and how women are constantly being degraded. Another African American woman by the name of Harriet Tubman was also a significant figure in the anti-slavery movements because she was the one responsible for the Underground Railroad, which was a means of escape for runaway slaves to Canada. She successfully led hundreds of slaves to freedom using safe houses that they could stay on during their journey to freedom in the North without being caught once. She also served as a spy for the federal forces in South Carolina and also as a nurse.
Another woman woman is believed to be one of the pioneers of the movement to end slavery and the women's rights movement as well. Lucretia Mott was a Quaker minister who attended the Anti-Slavery Convention in London, England and was refused a seat by the white men that held this conference. As a response and retaliation in 1848, herself and another reformer by the name of Elizabeth Cady Stanton orgainzed the first women's rights convention, The Seneca Falls Convention. Using the Declaration of Independence as a model they both came up with a declaration of their own called the Declaration of Sentiments that demanded that the rights of women as right-bearing individuals be acknowledged and respected by society. As a result of this meeting came a series of resolutions that demanded the increase of women's rights, which includes better employment oppurtunities and educational as well as the right to vote. After slavery was abolished in 1865 she shifted her efforts towards the African American's right to vote.
Susan B. Anthony was another woman that played an important role in the abolitonist movement and then temperance. During the Civil War she agreed...