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Review Women in History

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 8 years, 8 months ago

Republican Motherhood is a 20th century term for an attitude toward women's roles present in the emerging United States before, during, and after the American Revolution (c. 1760 to 1800). It centered on the belief that the patriots' daughters should be raised to uphold the ideals of republicanism, in order to pass on Republican values to the next generation. Republican motherhood meant civic duty. Although it is an anachronism, the period of Republican Motherhood is hard to categorize in the history of Feminism. On the one hand, it reinforced the idea of a domestic women's sphere separate from the public world of men. On the other hand it encouraged the education of women and invested their "traditional" sphere with a dignity and importance that had been missing from previous conceptions of Women's work.

 

The Cult of Domesticity or Cult of True Womanhood was a prevailing value system among the upper and middle classes during the nineteenth century in the United States.  Part of the Separate Spheres ideology, the cult of domesticity identified the home as women's "proper sphere".Prescriptive literature advised women on how to transform their homes into domestic sanctuaries for their husbands and children. Women were put in the center of the domestic sphere and were expected to fulfill the roles of a calm and nurturing mother, a loving and faithful wife, and a passive, delicate, and virtuous creature. These women were also expected to be pious and religious, teaching those around them by their Christian beliefs, and expected to unfailingly inspire and support their husbands. 

 

"Suffragettes" During the beginning of the 20th century, as women's suffrage faced several important federal votes, a portion of the suffrage movement known as the National Women's Party led by suffragette Alice Paul became the first "cause" to picket outside the White House. Paul and Lucy Burns led a series of protests against the Wilson Administration in Washington. Wilson ignored the protests for six months, but on June 20, 1917, as a Russian delegation drove up to the White House, suffragettes unfurled a banner which stated; "We women of America tell you that America is not a democracy. Twenty million women are denied the right to vote. President Wilson is the chief opponent of their national enfranchisement". Another banner on August 14, 1917, referred to "Kaiser Wilson" and compared the plight of the German people with that of American women. With this manner of protest, the women were subject to arrests and many were jailed. On October 17, Alice Paul was sentenced to seven months and on October 30 began a hunger strike, but after a few days prison authorities began to force feed her. After years of opposition, Wilson changed his position in 1918 to advocate women's suffrage as a war measure.

 

 

Flapper in the 1920s was a term applied to a "new breed" of young Western women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.  Flappers had their origins in the period of Liberalism, social and political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.

 

 

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