The Impact Of The Black Civil Rights Movement And Women's Suffrage Movement

Great Essays
A new exhibit in the National Museum of American History, in Washington D.C., called “Defining America: Five Critical Debates” has been created. This exhibit aims to show museum visitors what it means to be an American as well as how progress has been a reoccurring idea that developed the United States since the end of the Civil War. There are many different movements that define America; however, there are a few that show just what it meant to be an American and how the idea of progress has helped America develop into the country it is now. The Black Civil Rights Movement as well as the Women’s Suffrage Movement show how far the United States has progressed in equal treatment. Just as there is equal treatment, there is also inequality, the …show more content…
During the 1870’s all women were considered unequal to men. The Knights of Labor, a secret union organization, worked hard to organize women into unions across the nation to stop further discrimination in terms of hiring and pay; women were expected to work more hours for less pay (24). In 1887, Edward O’ Donnell wrote an article, Women as Bread Winners- The Error of the Age which denounced women working in factories. O’ Donnell wrote, “It debars the man through financial embarrassment from family responsibility, and physically, mentally and socially excludes the woman equally from nature’s dearest impulse” (28). In making this statement, O’Donnell is saying that women have no right in the work place because it takes away from a man’s responsibility and pride. Despite this, women continued to fight for …show more content…
During the War, women began working industrial jobs, filling the spots left empty by those who went off to war. Though they faced prejudice from their male co-workers, their experience was overall positive (221). Equality in the work place was far from achieved. After World War II, many women continued the role of the traditional housewife. . Life magazine wrote an article “Busy Wife’s Achievements”. The article details the life of a housewife in 1956. They fell back into the traditional roles of a wife. They kept the house, took care of the children, and worked civic work jobs from the home (254). Another article, The Feminine Mystique, discussed what they called “the problem”. They referred to the feeling the normal housewife had of “is this all?” as in was this all there was to life? It used to be that the roll of a housewife was all a woman needed but as time passed, they need more. The movement of women from the house to being fully included in the acts of society in terms of jobs was a work in progress. However, it showed the progressive movement of women in the United States to becoming equal to men. Women’s definition of “American” changed slowly to an equal

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