Essay on Think Piece 1

Submitted By bobcatbilly
Words: 589
Pages: 3

Christa Holland
Mike Stutzman
APUSH Period 6
November 18, 2014

The role and place of women in American society changed drastically between 1800 and 1860. Women gained voting rights, asserted their independence, and achieved a larger voice in social affairs. Of course, nothing worthwhile comes easy and these rights were not easily won. Despite the struggles, social, economic, and political opportunities opened for women in the antebellum era. The role of women in society significantly increased from 1800-1860. Women started to gain respect and actually have a say in social situations. More women started attending school and this caused them to be more intelligent. Their opinions were not only listened to, but also respected. Fathers, husbands, and sons, became influenced by the women around them and began to listen to them proudly. Women even began writing proclamations, such as the Declaration of Sentiments. These documents were read, considered, and respected by men. Feminist groups still exist today with goals like equal pay between men and women and mutual respect. Although complete equality hasn’t been achieved yet, women have made tremendous leaps in society since 1800. New opportunities for women were not limited to social scenes. Women also gained a voice in economic issues. The main role of women before this time was to stay home and handle all domestic chores. This included laundry, cleaning the house, cooking meals, raising children, and taking care of the husband. The Industrial Revolution created many new opportunities, and women started taking up factory jobs in the late1800s. This made them more economically stable and independent. Women no longer needed to depend on men to take care of them. Women also influenced their male family members on what to do with money. Maria Perkins writes to her husband and asks him to buy her from her current master. She is trying to stop the separation of her family. Because women had a greater voice in economy, her husband actually listened to and considered her request. At this point in history, very few slaves could read or write, let alone women slaves. Maria’s letter was made possible only because the role of women in society was increasing and education was growing. Maria used her education to gain a greater role in the…