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“Don’t Forget the Women”. Republican Principles Not Meant for Women. Mercy Otis Warren. Property Voting Like Abigail Adams, Mercy Warren questioned….

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republican principles not meant for women
Republican Principles Not Meant for Women

Mercy Otis Warren



Like Abigail Adams, Mercy Warren questioned…


If peace and unanimity are cherished, and the equalization of liberty, and the equity and energy of law, maintained by harmony and justice, the present representative government may stand for ages a luminous monument of republican wisdom, virtue and integrity. The principles of the revolution ought ever to be the pole-star of the statesmen, respected by the rising generation; …The people may again be reminded that the elective franchise is in their own hands; that it ought not to be abused either for personal gratifications… This advantage should be improved, not only for the benefit of existing society, but with an eye to that fidelity which is due posterity. 




men were concerned women would alter politics
Men were concerned women would alter politics

Public interest

“politics are too dirty”

Informed enough to vote?

cultural change influences marriage
Cultural Change Influences Marriage
  • Romanticism in England - Sentimentalism
  • Marriage for love
  • Companionate Marriage
      • Choice
      • Choice important as family declines in financial sustenance
      • Still might be male dominance in the house
      • Expanded acceptance of divorce (relatively)
18 th century family
18th Century Family

Note: Mothers

& number of children

change in family structure
Change in Family Structure
  • Fewer children
      • Because…fathers’ inability to provide adeq. Inheritance
      • Less necessary to have children to farm
      • Standard of living and health increases
  • Class dictates structure
      • Nannies, house maids, cooks

Religion reinforces Women’s role and value

      • Protestant ministers blame men for sexual misconduct
      • Women to teach children moral values
raising children
Raising Children
  • Republican
    • Northeast
    • Value and teach independence
    • Distinct from European traditions
  • Rationalist
    • Episcopal and Presbyterian
    • Use advice and praise
    • Invoked Enlightenment ideals
    • Assume children are rational beings
  • Authoritarian
    • Yeoman farmers (Baptist/Methodist)
    • Strict rules, harsh discipline
variations in education just as in parenting
Variations in Education Just as in Parenting
  • Unifying theme: Education increasingly important
  • Men who did not want women in politics disagreed w/education for both genders
  • Women and some men saw economic and social benefits of education
  • Women more likely to teach for sake of knowledge
      • Women hired as teachers because they could be paid less
education for republican economic reasons
Education for Republican & Economic Reasons

Republican: All citizens educated

Economic: Reading, writing and math

Economic: Discipline and respect for outside authority

regional variations
Regional Variations
  • New England: Independence values intellectual development
    • Locally funded elementary schools (reading & writing)
    • Few women went on to high school
    • 1% of men to college
  • Rural Families (+artisans and laborers)
    • Demanded reading, writing & math
    • Believed college education to be elitist
  • By 1820s merchants demanded more uniform education standards & state legislatures acted

UNC Est. 1789

Middlebury College

Est. 1800

Andover Est. 1778

Abbot Academy est. 1828

evidence of utilitarian education
Evidence of Utilitarian Education

Fact: Not until the 1830s and 1840s do American authors achieve professional identity and international prestige

Female authors become more numerous after 1840 though intellectual women often outcast