Women’s Rights In America 1792- 1820 By B.B. Background Information “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” -Abigail Adams Women’s roles in Early American History, or any country's history, has often been overlooked. They helped during the Revolution by sewing uniforms, knitting stockings, and taking over the family business. There were also females serving in the Army along side their husbands. Women were not able to vote, own land, and didn’t qualify for many jobs. The sole purpose for women in this era was to raise the children and do the household chores. Female activists tried their best to earn the rights of women, who later earned these privileges. Marriage The typical female in this time period would be married at age thirteen or fourteen. If a girl was not married by the age of twenty-five, it was socially humiliating. The main purpose of marriage was to gain economic benefits for the parents of the man or woman. If a woman became a widow, they were urged to marry as soon as possible. Some states had laws that said a widow would have to marry within seven years of their American Woman husbands death, but they usually married about one or two years later despite this law. Married Woman Responsibilities The typical woman of this time did all the household chores. They bought and sewed clothing, took care of the animals, cooked meals, made soap and candles, took care of the children, and taught the girls to do all these things. A wealthy woman of this time would do some of these chores, but have her servants do most of the work for her. The ladies were considered too important and sophisticated to do chores. Taking Care of the Animals The only things that women were considered useful for were raising the children and keeping up the house. As there husbands went off to work, The women carried all the responsibilities on their shoulders. Keeping up the House Laundry Chores Abigail Adams The most renowned and perhaps well-known female rights activist was Abigail Adams. She had little education, but was an avid reader and understood history. She accompanied her husband, John Adams, on diplomatic missions to France and England. She was very involved with politics and the well-being of our nation. Abigail stressed that women should be educated and be able to think for themselves. She felt that women should play a larger role in the community by helping run businesses, rather than “stay in the kitchen” and be recognized for their “intellectual capabilities.” Abigail Adams “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.” -Abigail Adams Susan B. Anthony Woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself. - Susan B. Anthony Susan B. Anthony was known for dedicating her life “to the cause” of the woman suffrage movement. Mrs. Anthony was the main reason the nineteenth amendment was added to the constitution, the right for women to vote. Some of Susan B. Anthony’s accomplishments include: ~ Founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association Stanton. with life-long friend Elizabeth Cady Susan B. Anthony ~ First person arrested and put on trial for voting. ~ Wrote the 19th amendment (Women’s right to vote) ~ Founded the International Council of Women (1888) and the International Woman Suffrage Council (1904) which brought international attention to suffrage.