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How Women Fought Throughout Eras

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The lives of women differed throughout America’s history as they fought to secure the Blessings of Liberty. Despite the hardships that women faced, they continued their best to prosper and to defy society’s role for them. Women faced the stereotype of being less intelligent, capable, and strong but they worked to prove these ideas wrong. These women from all over the United States came together to achieve a common goal; obtaining rights. Life changed for women of all classes from the Reconstruction Era through the Industrial Age because of their persistence of obtaining Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

During the Reconstruction Era women experienced changes that altered their way of life. The Cult of Domesticity defined a women’s role in rural areas as a devoted mother and wife who looked after the house. Women went to school, as then required by most states. The Women’s Christian Temperance Movement challenged the problem of alcoholic husbands because women faced sexual, mental, and physical abuse by their husbands. Their main goal was to outlaw alcohol in the United States and to close all saloons. To fight abuse from alcoholism, mostly middle-class women closed over three thousand bars by asking daily for saloons to close down. This movement also encouraged the creation of the Do-Everything Policy where women fought for other rights, such as suffrage. The National Women Suffrage Association created by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, both influential women figures, fought for women suffrage. This association was a result of Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony stating their disapproval of the fourteenth amendment during the Equal Rights Association discussion. One of their biggest goals was to ratify the Fifteenth Amendment and this came to happen in 1870. The Grange movement helped women who lived in rural areas build a better life for their family and to become social. It began two years into Reconstruction as a way to help farmers recover from the financial crisis of 1873. Women took part as organizers and advertisers for this cause, which saw men and women equal. This movement improved many lives by giving them a role that did not involve housekeeping, the normal job of a rural wife and mother. The Temperance, Suffrage, and Grange movements all attempted in securing the Blessings of Liberty by improving the lives of women in multiple aspects.

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During the Settlement of the West, women worked hard to build their own life and a sense of independence. The settlement of the west brought many women who worked on their own as prostitutes, cooks, and laundresses. At this time prostitution was legal and an in demand job because many of the men who rushed to the West were single and lonely. The role of a housewife at this time was to cook and clean, therefore men did not know how to complete these tasks. Cooks and laundresses make around thirty dollars a day and sometimes made more money than male miners. Women homesteaders were another important key to the Settlement of the West because they helped the economy flourish and encouraged women to buy homesteads. Women sold their own goods, such as eggs, butter, and milk, which all came from their own households. Not only did women homesteaders raise animals and sold their own goods, they cooked, canned, and washed clothes as well. Single women who were in their twenties bought land, which broke down the societal norm of only men owning land. Mormon Women had an influence in the suffrage movement as they moved to the West for refuge from religious persecution. Despite their belief in polygamy, Mormon women believed that they were responsible enough to vote. People who were against polygamy out casted their views and stated that they only wanted the right the vote so that they could vote the same way as their husbands did. The act of polygamy was illegal in the Utah territory until it became a state in 1896. In this era, women are obtaining their rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness by defying society’s expectations of women.

In the Industrial Age women focused on helping others by creating influential organizations, adjusting gender roles, and changing partnership ideas. To help the youth and those affected by disasters, women created clubs and organizations. The Young Women’s Christian Association aided young women in the fields of intellect and social skills by providing education and a social cultural community. Many charity organizations such as the American Red Cross helped people who were in need. The American Red Cross, founded in 1881, worked in disaster relief all across the world. The adjustment of gender roles in the Industrial Age influenced leisure sports and job openings. Women who were younger and more independent rode bikes and played basketball for teams in college. The crisis of masculinity and the boom of big businesses allowed more jobs for women. Due to the increase of opportunities open to women, they began to push for women’s rights. African American women faced Jim Crow Laws that segregated races, but they still found ways to end segregation and to create a community within the YWCA and the National Association of Colored Women. The National Association of Colored women worked towards completing goals of providing education for African American kids, helping with shelter and healthcare necessities, and funding schools for African Americans. Despite the horrible Jim Crow Laws, women created a sense of community within the African Americans, which provided a family for those who did not have one. Many women became incredibly educated so that they could stop segregation, but this ended up in family neglect. Women worked hard throughout this era to establish justice for themselves and others.

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are all main values of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that reflect in the accomplishments and lives of women from the Reconstruction to the Industrial Age. Women strived hard to establish justice and to secure the blessing of liberty by fighting for their rights and the rights of others. They challenged gender roles and fought for their rights. In addition, they worked hard, contributed to the economy, created communities, and battled alcoholism. Throughout these ages, women fought for themselves and everyone around them, giving them the Life, Liberty and Happiness promised by the United States of America.

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How Women Fought Throughout Eras. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“How Women Fought Throughout Eras.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
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