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How did the Civil War impact women

- Women temporarily replaced their men folk in
agricultural work

- Many also worked as nurses tending the wounded; however, progress
for women in medicine beyond the level of nursing was limited

- The war catalysed industrial development, by 1870, 13% of all
unmarried women worked outside the home, in domestic occupations
or in factories

- This figure expanded rapidly in the remaining decades of the century

- The 1870s US consensus was the first United States consensus to
count “Females engaged in each occupation”

- They made up one third of factory ‘operatives’ but teaching and the
occupations of dressmaking, millinery and tailoring played a larger role
– two thirds of teachers were women


Fifteenth Amendment (1870)

- Granted African American men the right to vote
- Did not encompass gender
- Many women perceived this as unfair


What 3 factors contributed to the growing opportunities for women in some sectors of society

- 1865-1915 were a period of change and opportunity for
some sectors of female society. This was due to the:

o The changing economy; continued development of the
manufacturing industry, big business and urbanisation
o The increasing availability of consumer goods, which
transformed the home life of middle-class women
o Better education prospects


Changes - women and work

- In 1870 13% of unmarried women worked outside the home, by 1900 the
number of women workers had tripled so that they now made up 17% of
the total workforce

- By the 1980s, unmarried women with high-school education could
graduate from the factory floor to clean, safe offices or shops and stores

- Female clerical workers, armed with the newly invented typewriter and
telephone, could earn $t a week and gain some status

- By 1900, there were around 949,000 women working as teachers,
secretaries, librarians and telephone operators

- This had risen to 3.4 million by 1920

- However, men remained the managers; women were not promoted as
they were expected to marry and leave the workforce one day


Impact of growing economy on immigrant women

- Places in factories were increasingly taken by young migrant women –
European, Hispanic and some black Americans

- As cheap, unskilled workers, unprotected by legislation, their working
conditions were poor, their hours were long and wages low

- By the end of the 19th century, 70 hours factory work earnt on average
as little as $5

- Poor and immigrant married women were often forced by poverty to
taken factory work too


Impact of education

- By 1900, education was one of the key factors in creating better
opportunities for women in the workplace

- By 1900, half of high school graduates were female

- Education allowed women to access higher education - which in turn
expanded their opportunities

- By 1900, at least half of women graduates were delaying marriage and
looking for a career


Women & Social Reform

- Before WW1 women in the US had no distinctive political power and few
had any aspiration to achieve it
- However, a minority of mainly middle-class women condemned what
they perceived to be social evils threatening the well-being of the family

- One example is the work of Jane Addams who established Hull House in
Chicago in 1889 as a social centre to support the settlement of newly
arrived immigrant families
- Addams and her fellow workers urged politicians to act on the problem
of slum housing


How did the Temperance impact the progression of women's rights

- Temperance is the advocacy of drinking in moderation and the
avoidance of excess

- Prohibition is the banning of the manufacture, sale and transportation of
alcoholic drinks and was eventually embodied in the Eighteenth
Amendment in the US constitution is 1919

- The temperance movement galvanised women into action in a way that
the campaign for political and other rights was unable to do for some
considerable time

- This was achieved largely through active protest such as the Women’s
Crusade of 1873, the first mass movement of US women demanding
prohibition and membership of pressure groups such as the Women’s
Christian Temperance Union, founded in 1874 and by the end of the 19th
century there were over 7000 branches

- The campaign for the vote became closely allied in the minds of early
feminist reformers with the temperance movements


Nineteenth Amendment

- Following President Wilson’s call in 1918 for a constitutional amendment
giving women the vote, Congress gave its approval in 1919

- The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution was set in place in 1920
following it’s ratification by the requisite number of 36 states


The National Consumers League (NCL)

- The National Consumers league (NCL) was set up in 1899 to gain
recognition for the rights of women in the workplace

- They campaigned for improvement in the wages of female sales and
clerks and to secure protective legislation and improved working
conditions for women and children in the workplace

- They put pressures on state governments to provide aid for mothers and
improved healthcare for children


National Association of Colored Women (NACW)

- Formed in 1896 and by 1918 had 300,000 members; it focused on the
achievement of the vote but also campaigned to stop lynching and
discrimination and to improve educational opportunities

- E.g. Ida B Wells


National American Women Suffrage Movement (NAWSA)

- The leaders of the women’s suffrage campaign were Susan B. Anthony
and Elizabeth Cody Stanton

- They found themselves without former allies, the abolitionists, and in
1869 they formed an organisation specifically focused on women’s
suffrage, The National Women Suffrage Association (NWSA) - it
campaigned for national change

- Association had more than 100,000 members by 1910. Though this
represented only half of the women that were actively protesting for their

- In 1900, Carrie Chapman Catt took over NAWSA and began active
protests (holding marches and distributing leaflets), this was furthered by
Alice Paul and her Congressional Union for Women’s suffrage in in 1913
(renamed the National Women’s Party in 1917) which organised mass
demonstrations and picketed the White House

- NAWSA was positive. By 1918, 20 states recognised that women had the
right to vote. President Wilson also urged Congress for an Amendment
and in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was passed

- Public sympathy for the cause was also aroused by the treatment of
suffragettes in prison


National Women Party

- The women’s movement developed a more radical wing on the eve of
the First World War when Alice Paul formed a breakaway organisation

- The congressional Union for Women’s suffrage (Which became the
National Women’s Party after 1917) n 1913

- She replicated methods used by Pankhurst


Changes in divorce

- In 1880, about one in every twenty-one marriages ended in divorce; by
1900, this figure had risen to one in twelve and continued to rise during
the first two decades of the twentieth century


Name the four women activist groups in this period

The National Consumers League (NCL)

National Association of Colored Women (NACW)

National American Women Suffrage Movement (NAWSA)

National Women Party