Focus Question: • What steps were taken to advance the rights of women in the mid-1800s?
Roots of the Women’s Rights Movement • Women lacked basic rights in the early 1800s • Could not own property • Could not vote • Could not go to school • Could not enter the professions
Separate Spheres • Genders had particular roles to play • Men expected to work outside the home • Wives expected the manage the household • Responsible for raising children • Responsible for raising “republican” sons • Republican Motherhood Crucial Role for Mothers
Cult of Domesticity • “Cult of True Womanhood” • Genders had their proper places • Men are rough, strong, savage, suited for the world of work • Women are calm, nurturing, refined, suited for the home. • The woman’s place was in the home • A woman could only be fulfilled if she was a wife and mother.
Challenges • Large numbers of working-class women • “Lowell girls” had economic independence • Second Great Awakening • Women took leadership positions in reform groups • Proper “sphere” for women
Reforms came slowly • Schools slowly opened for women • Few coeducational • Growth of women’s health • Development of Women and Children’s Hospitals • The “Bloomer”
Women’s Rights Movement • Sparked by a slight • Women took a leading role in reform movements, especially abolition • Many attended an international conference on abolition in London • Refused entry to the main floor • Infuriated leader female reformers
Seneca Falls Convention • Women’s Rights Convention held in 1848 • Promoted a series of women’s issues • Property rights • Health • Education • Promoted Suffrage • Shocked the nation
Declaration of Sentiments • Patterned after the Declaration of Independence • Called for voting rights for women • Developed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton