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Women’s Rights. “If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women. ” -Abigail Adams. “Remember the Ladies”.

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women s rights

Women’s Rights

“If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.”

-Abigail Adams

remember the ladies
“Remember the Ladies”
  • March 31st, 1776 Abigail Adams wrote the following to her husband John, who was serving as a Massachusetts representative to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
  • -“Do not put such unlimited power in the hands of the husbands. 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 representation.
  • -“Why then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex.”
  • She urges her husband to remember the ladies in an age when women were seen as strictly domestic.
cult of domesticity and true womanhood
Cult of Domesticity and True Womanhood

The Average Middle Class family included a working man and a stay at home mom. When this became common, it fully supported the view that men alone should support the family.

Women became known as WEAK and DELICATE people.

A woman’s place became in the home alone.

then came the CULT OF DOMESTICITY:

It became seen all around the magazines and newspapers-everywhere in culture. The ideal that provided women a way to live as stay at home mothers.

For the true woman, a woman's rights were:

The right to love whom others scorn,

The right to comfort and to mourn,

The right to shed new joy on earth,

The right to feel the soul's high worth,

Such woman's rights a God will bless

And crown their champions with success.

four components
Four components:
  • PIETY: The woman of the 18th century was thought of as someone who was pure and passionless in love. They were supposed to be made of strong religious components.
  • PURITY: this was highly revered because without sexual purity, a woman was no woman and unworthy of a good man. Women were even supposed to separate male and female authors on bookcases, unless they were married.
  • SUBMISSIVENESS: The most feminine of virtues. Men were never supposed to be submissive. Women were made to be passive bystanders, submitting to others.
  • DOMESTICITY: Woman’s place was in the home. Housework was considered an uplifting task.
importance of women in college
Importance of Women in College
  • Oberlin College was the first college that admitted men and women.
  • The Troy Female Seminary, founded in 1821 by Emma Willard. It offered college-level courses in history and science.
  • Mount Holyoke College and the Wesleyan Methodism of Georgia Female College.
  • Howe, 464
catharine beecher
Catharine Beecher
  • Founder of the Hartford Female Seminary
  • Served as a self-appointed counselor to women.
  • Believed that women were the “moral leaders within the families, were capable of performing the role of teacher.” (abc-clio)
legal status of women
Legal status of Women
  • Under the common law of England, an unmarried woman could own property but a married woman gave up her name and virtually all of her property.
  • In the United States a man virtually owned his wife and children and all of the material possessions of the household.
    • Women could not legally stop their husbands from sending their children to the poor house in hard times.
  • However, soon the equality law develops in the mid 1800’s where a woman could sue her husband and own property separate from their husbands.
    • Mississippi was the first to do so in 1839.
moving into the industrial age
Moving into the Industrial Age
  • Women farmers began to work in factories to help their families financial problems.
  • Factory owners thought that women were a dependable & obedient work force.
  • Women factory workers opened the doors for women in the business world.


lowell mill
Lowell Mill
  • Textile factories in Lowell, Massachusetts
  • First Factory to higher women.
  • February of 1834, Lowell Mill cut wages and increased production. The women decide to go on strike.
  • Wanted a 10 hour work day (The Ten Hour System) instead of their usual 12-14 hours a day.
  • The strike proved that women were capable of organizing and persistent on achieving labor reforms.


downfall of working in factories
Downfall of Working in Factories
  • Faced discrimination
  • Women were paid 1/2 to 2/3 of what a man doing the same job received.
  • Factories were not heated or air-conditioned, so factories lacked sufficient light and ventilation.
  • If a woman was injured on the job, her employer provided her with no workers' compensation or health care benefits.
  • Most employers fired the injured worker.
early strikes
Early Strikes…
  • February of 1834, the Board of Directors of Lowell’s textile mills requested that managers impose a 15% reduction in wages to go in effect on March 1st:
    • women become outraged and go on strike, withdrawing their savings immediately causing “a run” on two local banks.
    • strike fails and within days all women either returned or left down.
    • the agents took this as a betrayal of femininity or what women were supposed to stand for.
  • January of 1836, a severe economic depression results in another strike:
    • -the girls formed the “Factory Girls’ Association” and organized a strike. It was one of the first times woman had spoken in public for a cause.
    • -it attracted over 1500 workers, nearly twice the numbers as the 1834 strike.
    • they went on strike in response to a proposed rent hike, which was seen as a violation of the written contract between employees and employers.

-turn out persisted for weeks and eventually the board took away the rent hike and it was a successful revolt.

resulting in
  • 1845: Female Labor Reform Association was started and sent petitions to thousands of textile workers to the Massachusetts General Court demanding a ten hour work day.
    • in response they send a committee and make the first investigations into labor conditions of the factories. However, they came back and said that it wasn’t the states legislator’s responsibility to help out the women’s hours of work.
temperance movement
Temperance Movement
  • Definition: It was an organized effort to encourage moderation in the consumption of liquors.
    • Urged on by women because of the abuse and terror that came out when their husbands would drink too much.
    • Susan B. Anthony(1820-1906) lectured on temperance, abolition and women’s rights until 1860 and formed the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
abolitionism women s rights
Abolitionism  Women’s Rights
  • Women began to defy the conventional ideas of their proper sphere by becoming public speakers and demanding an equal role.
  • Most famous of

these are

Sarah and



lucretia mott
Lucretia Mott
  • Lucretia Mott began to defy public opinion and speak out in public about women’s rights and in the public sphere made an implicit feminist statement. (Howe, 651)
  • Lucretia Mott organized the Philadelphia Female Anti-slavery Society in 1833.
  • Many women joined the Philadelphia Female Anti-slavery Society and they made the abolition of slavery a public issue and the first political movement they participated in.
seneca falls convention
Seneca Falls Convention
  • Seneca Falls, New York on July 19-20, 1848.
  • Formed by Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Staton, and Elizabeth and Mary Ann McClintock.
  • First women’s rights convention in the U.S.
  • Created the Declaration of Sentiments.
  • Based off Declaration of Independence.
  • The women faced a lot of criticism from the press after the convention
  • "Catharine Beecher." Image. Cirker, Hayward and Blanche Cirker, eds. Dictionary of American Portraits, 1967. American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2010.
  • "Declaration of Sentiments." Image. National Park Service. American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 14 Nov. 2010.
  • "Lowell Female Labor Reform Association." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.
  • "Lowell, Massachusetts mills." Image. Library of Congress. American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.
  • "Power loom." Image. North Wind Picture Archives. American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 14 Nov. 2010.
  • The College Board AP 2006 Doc. C DBQ
  • "The Lowell Girls." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 14 Nov. 2010.
  • "Seneca Falls Convention." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.
  • Sheffield, Wesley, et al. "Western Expansion." Anglefire. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov.      2010. <http://www.angelfire.com/ca/HistoryGals/Linda.html>
  • Walker Howe, Daniel. What Hath God Wrought. N.p.: Oxford UP, USA, 2007. MyiLibrary. Web. 9 Nov. 2010. http://lib.myilibrary.com
  • "Women in the Industrial Workforce", Ohio History Central, July 1, 2005, http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=1516
  • "WIC - Women's History in America." Welcome to WIC - Breaking News and Opinion in San Diego: Women's International Center. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://www.wic.org/misc/history.htm>.
  • 1890, By. "Susan B. Anthony." United States History. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1083.html>.”
  • Western New York Suffragists - Reform Movements Timeline." Western New York Suffragists -Winning the Vote. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://www.winningthevote.org/tlreform.html>.
  • 1848, By. "Lowell Mill Girls." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Lowell_Mill_Girls>.”
  • American Experience | John & Abigail Adams | Primary Sources | PBS." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 15 Nov. 2010. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/adams/filmmore/ps_ladies.html>.