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Women's Role Throughout History Essay

1210 words - 5 pages

Throughout history, women’s roles have changed drastically. As times changed so did the opportunities and demands. Women adapted significantly well to these new changes, and so they were able to influence and help shape these periods, as well as benefit from them. Women suffered from much discrimination, and were not allowed to attend universities, vote, speak in public or own any property. Also, they did not have a choice but to fight for their place in society. Regardless of all these difficulties, women gathered strength and succeeded in establishing permanent social changes.
In early America, the work as a wife was often along with her husband, running a household, farm or plantation. ...view middle of the document...

Abigail Adams wrote a letter to her husband, which was on the Continental Congress. The letter begged for Congress to remember the woman when writing the new Constitution, also known as “Remember the ladies.” Her husband made a clear understanding to her that he would be in charge of the ladies, and that the common law would not be changed. Also after the war, upper class girls had more educational opportunities. They would often be taught writing, reading, math, geometry, foreign languages, music, drawing, and dancing. Other women often were educated in writing and reading and learned Greek, Latin, and math.
The American Revolution was a war of independence against Britain in which political ideas were influenced and revolutions around the globe. Thousands of women often took a busy role in both the British and American armies. Most of these women were either the daughters or wives of the soldiers or officers. “Camp followers” were the women who constantly maintained in military camps because they could not support themselves after their dads, husbands, etc. left for war. As camp followers their duties were cooking, laundry, childcare, and nursing the sick. They were paid very little and got very small portions to eat. Women did more than they could to help win America’s independence. Although women were not allowed to part take in the military, many served as secret soldiers. Each woman that helped in the revolutionary war stepped out of the safety and risked their lives to protect their country. One of the many famous women soldiers is Deborah Sampson who fought in New York under the alias Robert Shurtliff and served for over a year before she was discovered. After the Revolution, in the early 19th century, the expectations for educating children fell. Widows and the wives of men off to war or traveling on business often ran large farms and plantations as the sole managers.
The status of woman was changing rapidly in the middle class reform times. Middle class white married women did not work yet they stayed at home. Women workers were mainly young and single, divorced, widows or poor. However, new jobs were opening up for some women. Many women began to find jobs in department stores. Clerical workers were often middle- class women. “More middle- and upper class women starting graduating from college and entering what was known as white-collar professions” (Basch 300). A few women excelled as doctors, journalists, lawyers and scientists. However, at that time, professional women were often forced or chose...

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