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Many changes occurred during the Enlightenment period of the eighteenth century For instance more and more emphasis was placed on the family as the eighteenth century passed There were three groups of urban women in eighteenth century lower-class middle-class and upper-class This essay will discuss the experiences of the lower and middle class urban women It will also cover Olympe de Gouges The Declaration of the Rights of Woman The changes were different for lower-class women as opposed to middle class women Only those wealthy enough to afford to dispense with womens work could partake of the new domesticity Our textbook does not spend as much time talking about the lower class as it does the middle class None the less it seems that in the cities the condition of the poor was as desperate as it ever had been Mothers abandoned their children to foundling hospitals because they could not raise them properly themselves It was thought that they would live a better life at the hospitals but hospital death rates were close to 80 percent Women who had a job could not afford the material needed to educate their own children nor did they even have time to educate them if it were possible Working women now used wet nurses which in the past had only been used by the wealthy Lower-class women had no privacy whatsoever as large families often lived in one room Wives were still beaten by their husbands Having a large amount of suffering was nothing new however the urban poor blamed the government for all of the economic hardships Women fought alongside men in urban revolutionary activities In October 1789 a group of women acting on their own forced the king to leave Versailles for Paris It was the job of women to buy food for the family and when they became unable to do this the situation became intolerable They wanted the king to deal
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