Dominick SilvaHodgins, 1APUSH13 December 2017In the years 1815-1860 the role of women in the workplace, at home and in society changed drastically. The market revolution of the 19th century transformed household farms and factories only producing for themselves into a widespread, national web of industry. Coupled with the second great awakening, a countrywide religious rallying, which started many things including women’s movements. Even though women were still considered lesser to men during these years, their roles changed dramatically due to the Market Revolution and Second Great Awakening.The Market Revolution of the 19th century created numerous new jobs in factories however, even with all the new jobs created most women did not find work in them, because of this they stayed home and took care of their families. This was seen as unfair to many women because of the thought that they still couldn’t do the work that men did. An example of women’s inferiority to men being “The mother, whom God constituted the first teacher of every human being, has been degraded by men from her high office; or, what is the same thing, been denied those privileges of education which only can enable her to discharge her duty to her children with discretion and effect…” women were uneducated and kept uneducated as to be used in the home to raise children (Document E). In addition to Godey’s Lady Book, there is a picture of a family called “The Happy Mother” which depicts a mother and her two children with no father in the picture who is most likely at work while the mother is “happily” raising the children at home (Document G). With the Market Revolution mothers could spend more time raising children because no longer did they have to spend part of their day making goods to be used by the family. The market revolution replaced homemade goods with store bought ones. However, these factories did offer jobs to women. The most memorable of these factories was the Lowell Textile Mill in Massachusetts. Despite having to work long hours many women came to factories like Lowell’s Mill in order to make money. Farley says “We are collected in the factories, namely, to get money, as much of it and as fast as we can…It is these wages which…have drawn so many worthy, virtuous, intelligent, and well-educated girls to Lowell” (Document D). While the Market Revolution may have offered many women jobs it did, however, come at a cost to some. The picture “Selling a mother from her child” shows a mother being taken away from her child. Because slavery was still prominent during this period, many mothers were separated from their families in order to join the workforce (Document B).The Second Great Awakening opened the eyes of women to the heinous ways that they were being treated. This inspired many women and mothers to fight for their rights. This included speaking out against slave owners and many other pressing issues. An example is a discussion between Harriet and Mrs. A on the issue of slavery, Harriet says “I do not see why… women, with the strength and the enlightening power of truth on their side, may not do something to overthrow it.” this passage from their discussion shows her speaking out against slavery which was rare in the beginning of the 19th century (Document C). Women were now able to stand up for themselves and beginning to have a say in political matters. An example being Dorothea Dix talking to the Massachusetts General Court – “I proceed, gentlemen, briefly to call your attention to the present state of insane people confined within this Commonwealth in cages, closets, cellars, stalls, pens! Chained, naked, beaten with rods, and lashed into obedience.” She speaks to a committee of all men voicing her opinion (Document F).Women were slowly gaining more rights and becoming equal to men due to their sudden motivation to stand up for themselves and speak out against men and the inequalities in everyday life due to the Second Great Awakening. The Market Revolution and Second Great Awakening clearly affected women’s roles in the workplace, family, and in society during the years 1815-1860. Due to the beginning of these trends in 1815, the role of women today is completely different than it was in the 19th century.

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