Antebellum Gender Equality

1583 Words 7 Pages
In today’s world, feminism and gender equality are ideas that are being recognized and carried out by both women and men. During the shaping of America, those subjects would not have been discussed. However, the Women’s Rights Movement in Antebellum America changed the course for females in society. It allowed women to start the crusade for gender equality until the Civil War. The Civil War was a catalyst for women in American society as they developed a new sense of freedom from the new opportunities given to them. Prior to the Civil War, women were somewhat active in their communities. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and the Seneca Falls Convention brought the idea of women’s rights into full effect. Although the idea was not as …show more content…
Jobs and education that they earned in the course of and after the Civil War were some of these conveniences. Although women had access to education in Antebellum America, a higher education was not offered until after the Civil War. Women’s colleges were opened so that generally male educational facilities would not have to accept women in their undergraduate programs (“Early College Women: Determined to be Educated.”). Nonetheless, money was a gigantic problem for the continuation for these female colleges, despite academic successes. Greenville Woman’s College, for example, had to pay off debts by auctioning land, alongside their decline in enrollment. To fix that problem, President Charles Judson hired his sister Mary Camilla Judson as a teacher. Her presence at the college made an impact in the students and led to an increase in admission as she became a female leader in the community (Daniel). Among the ascending prosperity in education, women still faced intolerance from men. Male doctors wrote about women’s education and the inferiority of the idea; they often noted that education ravages a woman’s physical health, or the pure idea was impossible (“Early College Women: Determined to be Educated.”). Lucky for women of that time and now, the opinions of those male doctors are wrong, considering the inclination of female leaders in the …show more content…
In the Reconstruction period, “black women continued building community and identity from the tattered fragments of enslavement’s legacy and cultural brokenness” (“Claiming Their Citizenship: African American from 1624-2009.”). The ability to legally marry and raise a family was just one benefit from their new citizenship. Free labor altered their status, giving both men and women the assumption of self-governance. Women especially fought for more control in their labor contracts to spend time with their families (Frankel). African American women still faced discrimination in both the North and South, regardless of the laws and amendments passed to protect their liberation, which had an impact on further reform movements as well (Faulkner 141). However, “supportive community networks and settlement houses [were created to help]… girls and women of color in need of housing and resources” (“Claiming Their Citizenship: African American from 1624-2009.”). Ultimately, both discrimination and support for African American women balanced out, which changed their

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