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Word Count: 513
Womens Role in the Mid-1800s From 1820 to 1850 a different kind of work signaled an important historical development for many working men and women the movement of production from the home to the factory During this period Americans in general held highly stereotypical notions about womens and mens roles in the society Women had to restrict their individual liberty after marriage to home and the family and they were denied economic opportunity when they went to work in the larger community When a woman married her individual liberty became extremely limited because many -if not all- of her rights were controlled by her husband On the other hand if a woman remained single she might find work as a servant seamstress or a teacher therefore giving the single woman a slight advantage over the married woman Women were required to restrict their individual rights to the domestic life Housework and child care were considered the only proper activities for married women Many times married women lacked custody rights over their children But there were some strong women that only accepted to be treated as a mans equal Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of them when she persuaded the minister to omit the word obey from her vow in the marriage ceremony because she felt no need to obey the person with whom she was supposed to be entering an equal relation Many middle-class white women had been inspired by the hopeful message of the Second Great Awakening to improve society In the mid-19th century the fact that hard work was a central fact of life for most women continued to be the case as they entered the emerging industrial workplace Before women began to abandon farms for New Englands textile mills women had spun and sewed most of their families clothing from raw fibers To the girls in the mills textile work offered more economic opportunity than their only alternatives teaching sewing
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