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Changing Role of Women

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Women were greatly affected by the changing society after 1815. Not only did their status change in the family, but outside of the home as well. Opportunities evolved for them in the work place, and society. They began to work in factories, and this change brought economic independence for women.

Many of the women that began to work were single. When they finally did get married, they would quit their job in the factories, and go on to work at home being a full time mother and wife. At home they were treated with respect; there was a creed that glorified the homemaker. In the home women commanded power and made all decisions for the family. This altered the way of living for many families. Families also became more close and affectionate. This was because when a woman was married, the choice was based on love rather than arrangement. The home became a place of refuge, because many women worked, families got smaller. The fertility rate decreased dramatically as well. This new role that women obtained was called" domestic feminism". It signified the growing independence for women.

Even though many women were trying hard for equality there were some women who did not want women equality. Not all women believed in equality for the sexes. Women who upheld traditional gender roles argued that politics were improper for women. Some even insisted that voting might cause some women to "grow beards."

These women believed that God had entrusted them with certain duties, and that enfranchisement would lead to the destruction of their sacred role as mother and housewife. They also felt that the proper way to help the government was through raising patriotic sons. Women's suffrage was so radical a concept that women themselves feared it as a threat to the foundation of American society.

Opposition to women's suffrage took varied shapes in different countries. Politicians feared that enfranchised women might vote them out of office. Priests and ministers said that women should spend their time at home and with children. Socialist and labor parties feared that women might vote for conservative candidates. Specific interests, such as textile companies and the liquor, brewing, and mining industries, did not want to enfranchise women, since women might vote for legislation damaging to their businesses.

This time period was crucial for women everywhere. If this revolution would have never taken place,



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