When a woman cheated on her husband, she had to be punished by law, even if her husband had been missing for two years and she had not thought that she would ever see him again. Winthrop began his life rich, coming from his families wealth, enjoying his lavish life and the pleasures that came with it. This group, commonly referred to as Puritans, settles in New England in the year This settlement, governed by John Winthrop, becomes a community based on God.
At the beginning of the century, women enjoyed few of the legal, social, or political rights that are now taken for granted in western countries: Women were expected to remain subservient to their fathers and husbands.
Their occupational choices were also extremely limited. Middle- and upper-class women generally remained home, caring for their children and running the household. Lower-class women often did work outside the home, but usually as poorly-paid domestic servants or laborers in factories and mills.
The onset of industrialization, urbanization, as well as the growth of the market economy, the middle class, and life expectancies transformed European and American societies and family life.
For most of the eighteenth century through the first few decades of the nineteenth century, families worked together, dividing farming duties or work in small-scale family-owned businesses to support themselves.
With the rapid mercantile growth, big business, and migration to larger cities afterhowever, the family home as the center of economic production was gradually replaced with workers who earned their living outside the home.
In most instances, men were the primary "breadwinners" and women were expected to stay at home to raise children, to clean, to cook, and to provide a haven for returning husbands. Most scholars agree that the Victorian Age was a time of escalating gender polarization as women were expected to adhere to a rigidly defined sphere of domestic and moral duties, restrictions that women increasingly resisted in the last two-thirds of the century.
Scholarly analysis of nineteenth-century women has included examination of gender roles and resistance on either side of the Atlantic, most often focusing on differences and similarities between the lives of women in the United States, England, and France. While the majority of these studies have concentrated on how white, middle-class women reacted to their assigned domestic or private sphere in the nineteenth century, there has also been interest in the dynamics of gender roles and societal expectations in minority and lower-class communities.
Although these studies can be complementary, they also highlight the difficulty of making generalizations about the lives of women from different cultural, racial, economic, and religious backgrounds in a century of steady change.
Where generalizations can be made, however, "the woman question," as it was called in debates of the time, has been seen as a tendency to define the role of women in terms of private domesticity.
Most often, depictions of the lives of nineteenth-century women, whether European or American, rich or poor, are portrayed in negative terms, concentrating on their limited sphere of influence compared to that of men from similar backgrounds.
In some cases, however, the private sphere of nineteenth-century women had arguably more positive images, defining woman as the more morally refined of the two sexes and therefore the guardian of morality and social cohesion.
Women were able to use this more positive image as a means for demanding access to public arenas long denied them, by publicly emphasizing and asserting the need for and benefits of a more "civilized" and "genteel" influence in politics, art, and education.
The same societal transformations that were largely responsible for women's status being defined in terms of domesticity and morality also worked to provoke gender consciousness and reform as the roles assigned women became increasingly at odds with social reality.
Through their novels, letters, essays, articles, pamphlets, and speeches these and other nineteenth-century women portrayed the often conflicting expectations imposed on them by society.
These women, along with others, expressed sentiments of countless women who were unable to speak, and brought attention and support to their concerns. Modern critical analyses often focus on the methods used by women to advance their cause while still maintaining their delicate balance of propriety and feminine appeal by not "threatening" men, or the family unit.Aug 21, · Women in Colonial America played a specific role in society in that they did everything from cleaning to raising cattle on the family farm.
They were a crucial part of the development and success of the colonies. Written by award-winning historians, it tells the story of all Americans–elite and ordinary, women and men, rich and poor, white majority and minorities.
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But certain women, such as Stanton, believed that obtaining voting rights was a start to a greater role for women in the society (Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia, ). Reproductive rights, under basic human rights, were also fought for many years.
Women in Puritan society were strictly confined to traditional roles within their family and community structures. They were solely relegated to serve their husband and their household. These circumstances were made apparent in the journal of John Winthrop as well as the letters between him and his wife/5(1).
The ideal rationale behind property ownership in the puritan society was a “socialized property”. Land was communally held by all puritan families in a bid to improve social cohesion.
Men were supposed to live close to each other, share one another’s burdens and constructs “God’s kingdom on earth”. Puritan women were expected to play a more traditional role and care for their family and not be involved in government whereas Quaker women were more active in the community and church.
It is clear that the roles, rights and overall lifestyles of Puritan women and Quaker women differed.