Women's History

Why have they had to struggle for equality in the same way as
other “minority” groups?
 "Remember, all men would be tyrants if
they could. 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
 Times of War
 When husbands died, if sons weren’t old enough
 They were skilled craftswomen, talented parents,
religious thinkers, resourceful women who could take
over their husbands' duties and continue to perform
their own. And, in the Revolution they proved they
were politically aware — and many were active
patriots, fighting for independence.
 The roles of white women and Indian women and the
power they had were vastly different. Captured white
women often preferred life with the Indian tribe to life
in Colonial society because they had more power.
 could instruct their children, sons especially, to be
intelligent and reasonable individuals. This heightened
significance to a traditional aspect of wives' duties brought
with it a new commitment to female education and helped
make husbands and wives more equal within the family.
 The benefits that accompanied this new ideal of
motherhood were largely restricted to elite families that had
the resources to educate their daughters and to allow wives
to not be employed outside the household. Republican
motherhood did not meaningfully extend to white working
women and was not expected to have any place for enslaved
 White women came to possess a new social power as
moral reformers and were thought to possess more
Christian virtue than men, but this idealization
simultaneously limited white middle-class women to a
restricted domestic sphere.
 1820s and 1830s: women began to displace men as the
overwhelming majority of schoolteachers
 The husband had to be out in the public sphere
creating the wealth, but his wife was free to manage
the private sphere, the "WOMEN'S SPHERE."
Together, a successful husband and wife created a
picture of perfect harmony.
 A TRUE WOMAN was virtuous. Her four chief
characteristics were piety, purity, submissiveness and
domesticity. She was the great civilizer who created
order in the home in return for her husband's
protection, financial security and social status.
 It was a fragile existence for a woman. One
indiscretion, trivial by today's standards, would be her
downfall, and there was no place in polite society for a
fallen woman.
 During the era of the "CULT OF DOMESTICITY," a
woman was seen merely as a way of enhancing the
social status of her husband. By the 1830s and 40s,
however, the climate began to change when a number
of bold, outspoken women championed diverse social
reforms of prostitution, capital punishment, prisons,
war, alcohol, and, most significantly, slavery.
 Under the leadership of Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony, the Seneca Falls
convention demanded improved laws regarding child
custody, divorce, and property rights. They argued that
women deserved equal wages and career opportunities
in law, medicine, education and the ministry. First and
foremost among their demands was SUFFRAGE — the
right to vote.
 In this era of reform and renewal women realized that
if they were going to push for equality, they needed to
ignore criticism and what was then considered
acceptable social behavior.
 Organized by Mott and Stanton
 A convention to discuss the "social, civil and religious
condition and rights of women."
 200 women, 40 men
 Thereafter, national women's conventions were held
 Passed 11 resolutions, the 9th being "the duty of
women to secure for themselves the right to elective
franchise" (only resolution that was NOT
 Activity: comparison of the Declaration of
Independence & the Declaration of Sentiments
 You will be given copies of both of these documents, and
after reading each you will look for similarities in
language and purpose.
America's first integrated textile factory, that
performed every operation necessary to transform
cotton lint into finished cloth.
 They built their production facilities at Massachusetts.
To work in the textile mills, Lowell hired young,
unmarried women from New England farms. The
"MILL GIRLS" were chaperoned by matrons and
were held to a strict curfew and moral code.
 Although the work was tedious (12 hours per day, 6
days per week), many women enjoyed a sense of
independence they had not known on the farm. The
wages were about triple the going rate for a domestic
servant at the time.
 An opportunity for independence and freedom (from
parents and for economic)
 OR a slave-type system with harsh conditions
 And some criticized it as a challenge to traditional
women's roles
Dear Father,
I received your letter on Thursday the 14th with much pleasure. I am
well, which is one comfort. My life and health are spared while others
are cut off. Last Thursday one girl fell down and broke her neck, which
caused instant death. She was going in or coming out of the mill and
slipped down, it being very icy. The same day a man was killed by the
[railroad] cars. Another had nearly all of his ribs broken. Another was
nearly killed by falling down and having a bale of cotton fall on him.
Last Tuesday we were paid. In all I had six dollars and sixty cents paid
$4.68 for board. With the rest I got me a pair of rubbers and a pair of 50
cent shoes. Next payment I am to have a dollar a week beside my
 I think that the factory is the best place for me and if any girl wants
employment, I advise them to come to Lowell.
 -Excerpt from a Letter from Mary Paul, Lowell mill girl, December 21,
 http://www.history.com/topics/industrial-
 Activists such as FREDERICK DOUGLASS, LUCY
STONE, and HENRY BLACKWELL argued that the
1860s was the time for the black male.
 Linking black suffrage with female suffrage would
surely accomplish neither.
They would accept nothing less than immediate
federal action supporting the vote for women.
 Bitter disappointment: the word "male" is in the 14th
 Anthony and Stanton formed the NATIONAL
a constitutional amendment.
 The NWSA was known to show up to the polls on
election day to force officials to turn them away. They
set up mock ballot boxes near the election sites so
women could "vote" in protest.
 The AWSA chose a much more understated path.
Stone and Blackwell actively lobbied state
governments. WYOMING became the first state to
grant full women's suffrage in 1869, and UTAH
followed suit the following year.
 Temperance
 Settlement Houses—
 where destitute immigrants could go when they had
nowhere else to turn. Settlement houses provided
family-style cooking, lessons in English, and tips on how
to adapt to American culture.
 Many single, middle-class women took jobs in the new
cities. Clerical jobs opened as typewriters became
indispensable to the modern corporation. The
telephone service required switchboard operators and
the new department store required sales positions.
Many of these women found themselves feeling
marvelously independent, despite the lower wages
they were paid in comparison with their male
 But not much independence occurred for lower class
working women, immigrants, and former slaves, now
 A devout feminist, Woodhull protested the male hold
on politics by running for President in 1872. She
became the first female American to do so in a time
when women did not even enjoy the right to vote.
(no one knows how many votes she got because they
didn't even bother to count them!!)
 The two groups formed the NATIONAL AMERICAN
 The fight to victory was conducted by CARRIE
CHAPMAN CATT. By 1910, most states west of
Mississippi had granted full suffrage rights to women.
States of the Midwest at least permitted women to vote
in Presidential elections. But the Northeast and the
South were steadfast in opposition. Catt knew that to
ratify a national amendment, NAWSA would have to
win a state in each of these key regions. Once cracks
were made, the dam would surely burst.
 “For the safety of the Nation
To the Women Give the Vote
For the hand that Rocks the Cradle
Will Never Rock the Boat!”
Before SignOn.org, Twitter or Facebook, these
women collected more than a million signatures in
pen and ink, all through hand-to-hand contact, and
displayed them as they marched down Fifth Avenue
in New York with 20,000 supporters and an
estimated half-million people in the crowd in 1917.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO70ZjZ0wrw
 Amid the backdrop of the United States entry into
World War I, success finally came. In 1917, New York
and Arkansas permitted women to vote, and
momentum shifted toward suffrage. NAWSA
supported the war effort throughout the ratification
process, and the prominent positions women held no
doubt resulted in increased support.
 On August 26, 1920, the NINETEENTH
AMENDMENT became the supreme law of the land,
and the long struggle for voting rights was over.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYQhRCs9IHM
Written, directed &
produced by
Bradley Hart
1st assistant director: Sara Peyton