Women in the late 1800s
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Women in the Late 1800s. Angela Brown Chapter 17 Section 4. Learning Targets: I CAN…. Describe the debate over women’s equality in the late 1800s. List ways in which women’s work in the home changed in the late 1800s. Describe women’s work outside the home during the late 1800s.

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Women in the late 1800s

Women in the Late 1800s

Angela Brown

Chapter 17 Section 4

Learning targets i can
Learning Targets: I CAN…

Describe the debate over women’s equality in the late 1800s.

List ways in which women’s work in the home changed in the late 1800s.

Describe women’s work outside the home during the late 1800s.


Do women have full equality with men in American society today? Explain your answer.

The debate over women s equality
The Debate Over Women’s Equality

  • The Woman Question – a wide-ranging debate about the social roles of women

  • Demands – women should be allowed to vote, control their own property and income, have access to higher education and professional jobs.

  • Allow women economic/political power would upset the social order and destroy their femininity.

  • Women worked in most sectors of the economy and in many areas of public life.

Women s work in the home
Women’s Work in the Home

  • Many homes still without indoor plumbing.

  • 1917 only ¼ homes had electricity.

  • 1900 few women making own bread, butchering, preserving, making own clothes.

  • Department Stores – retail establishments with a wide variety of goods – low prices due to larger quantities (differ from general stores)

  • 1865 Marshall Field Chicago

  • 1858 Macy’s NY

  • 1896 rural free delivery (RFD) – U.S. post offices – free service gave farm families access to big-city goods through mail-order catalogs

  • (Montgomery Ward/ Sears, Roebuck and Company – offered money back guarantees)

Working outside the home
Working Outside the Home

  • 1870 – 1 of 8 women /girls over age 8 worked outside the home.

  • 338 occupations listed in U.S. Census

  • Mostly single women, employers thought they would leave when married.

  • Paid $3 to $5 a week less on average – 30% to 60% less on average

  • 1 in 15 homes employed live in servants (mostly foreigners or African Americans)

  • Servants worked dawn to dusk – 6.5 days a week

  • 1873 Edward H. Clarke – retired Harvard professor warned in a book Sex in Education women could not engage in studying without risk of injured health, hysteria, or derangement of nervous system.

Volunteering for a larger role in society
Volunteering for a Larger Role in Society or African Americans)

  • 1868 New England Women’s Club – sought temperance, girls education

  • African American Club – National Adult Education Program

  • Chicago Woman’s Club

  • Clubs gave women invaluable experience in speaking, writing and financial skills.

  • 1873 Association for the Advancement of Women or African Americans)

  • 1890 General Federation of Women’s Clubs – goals suffrage/corrections

  • 1874 Women’s Christian Temperance Union

  • 1890 National American Woman Suffrage Association – still 30 years until victory

Lifestyle questions
Lifestyle Questions or African Americans)

  • Shortened hair, raised hemlines, skirts and blouses more suited to new activities.

  • Women went out on dates unsupervised.

  • Called “New Women”

  • Divorce Rate (1 in 12) 1900 by 1916 (1 in 9)

  • Married “New Women” pushed to legalize info. Concerning birth control.