Lecture Honors U.S. History Mr.

Irwin Week 14 CHAPTER 9-4 The Changing Roles of Women 1800 - 1910

Name: Period:

Main Idea: Changes in women’s lives, including new jobs, new educational opportunities, and new roles in the home and in the marketplace, fueled a debate over the proper role of women in American society. Regional Differences: By the late 1800s, only middle-class and upper-class women could afford to stay at home. Poorer women had no choice but to work outside the home. The role that women played was based largely upon the region of the country that they resided in. Farm Women: For example, during the entire century of the 1800s, the role of the farm woman in the south and the Midwest remained constant. They tended to household tasks such as: • Cooking • • • • • • • Making clothes Laundering Raising livestock Plowing the fields Harvesting crops Canning fruits, jellies, jams & preserves Caring for their children

City Women: Out of the need to earn incomes, post-Civil War northern and Midwestern city women found jobs in factories. By 1900, 25% of American women had jobs in manufacturing.

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Labor unions initially shunned and excluded women from their ranks. Undeterred, women in these regions continued to flock to the industrial job market. Half of the industrial working women were employed in the garment industry. • • Industrial working women usually held the least skilled positions within the companies that they worked for. They typically earned ½ the pay of their male counterparts.

White Collar Work: As the American economy expanded, women began filling new jobs in offices, stores and in education, as teachers. These kinds of jobs required a high school education, and by 1890, women high school graduates outnumbered men. Additionally, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, business schools cropped up and began training women to become bookkeepers, stenographers and typists. With the growth of urban populations, the department store and the chain store were created. Women started out shopping in them and ended up working in them. Unskilled Women: Women who had no formal training or special skills, primarily single women, took jobs by doing domestic work for other families (cleaning, cooking, laundering, scrub woman, maid, etc.). These would be women on the lower end of the socio-economic scale, such as immigrant women or former slaves. Sometimes married women, in addition to tending to the chores of their own households, might take in “piece work,” or house boarders in order to bring in extra money for the family. The 20th Century By the turn of the 20th century, women were working in most segments of the economy. A small number of women were earning advanced degrees and entering professions. Women were also involved in volunteer organizations. Women occupied lead roles in establishing educational policies, and were involved in labor relations and public health issues. Women did all of these things, all the while maintaining their position at home as wives, mothers, and managers of the house. Partly as the result of technology, a variety of tasks that women had traditionally performed could now be done in more efficient ways: • • • bakers – women could buy fresh baked bread instead of making it themselves. butchers – women could purchase fresh cuts of meat at the butcher shop. commercially canned foods – resulted in decreased kitchen work. www.mirwin.weebly.com page 2 of 5

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ready made clothing – women no longer had to make the family’s clothing. packaged cereal – resulted in decreased kitchen work. catalog shopping – freed up women’s time.

Higher Education for Women: By the late 1800s: • More women were remaining single and getting college educations. • • • New women’s colleges were being established. Educated women began applying their skills to needed reforms. At a time when women were not allowed to vote, they began to organize.

The Position of Women’s Rights Advocates: • Wanted voting rights for women. • • • Wanted women to have control over their own property and incomes. Wanted access to higher education. Wanted to be able to get professional jobs.

Women Lead Two Movements: 1. Reform: It is believed that uneducated women in the workplace sparked a reform movement that targeted the industrial workplace. This portion of women workers provided the masses. Educated women of middle-class wealth and above provided leadership, strength and legitimacy. Some targets for reform were: • Workplace reform • • • Housing reform Educational improvement Food and drug laws

By 1910, as women became more embedded in the industrial workplace, they became cognizant of: • Dangerous working conditions www.mirwin.weebly.com page 3 of 5

• •

Low and/or inequitable wages Long working hours

Women’s clubs that already existed, in which literature, art and music would be discussed, sometimes grew to include discussions on child labor and temperance. 2. Women Suffrage: The word suffrage, means “the right to vote.” The movement for women’s suffrage can be traced to pre-Civil War times. We have to remember that in those days, American society was largely a “man’s” world. Women of the middle class and above, did not work outside the home. They generally stayed home, supervised the household chores and took care of their families. These women were known to be involved in church organizations or social clubs. Initially, they might have been abolitionists before the war. Once the 13 th, 14th & 15th Amendments were passed, women began pushing to obtain their own right to vote. Below is a list of some of the influential women’s organizations of the day: 1869 – NWSA The National Women Suffrage Association • Founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton • (In 1890, the NWSA merged with another similar organization and became known as the NAWSA, the National American Women Suffrage Association).

1873 – AAW Association for the Advancement of Women 1874 – WCTU Women’s Christian Temperance Union 1890 – GFWC General Federation of Women’s Clubs 1896 - NACW National Association of Colored Women Problems the Women’s suffrage movement had to overcome: • Liquor industry feared that women would vote in favor of prohibition. • • Textile industry worried that women would vote for restrictions on child labor. Men were concerned about the changing role of women in society. www.mirwin.weebly.com page 4 of 5

A 3-Point Approach: In their efforts to achieve their objectives, suffragists tried a 3-point approach: • Tried to convince state legislatures to grant women the right to vote. • • Women pursued court cases to test the 14th Amendment. Women pushed for a national constitutional amendment that would grant women the right to vote.

Women’s Movement Legacy: It took a long time for these reforms to take place. Ultimately, the Women’s Movement, as part of the Progressive Movement was responsible for: • A change in the way workers were treated on the job. • • Safer food and Drug products. These ideas were eventually supported and accepted by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Today partly as the result of reform movements that women helped orchestrate, we have the 8-hour work day, overtime pay, child labor laws, workman’s compensation & OSHA. - End of Lecture -

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