Research Paper Example on Role of Women Before Civil War

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  695 Words
Date:  2021-06-23

In most of the societies, Patriarchy has been engraved in the cultural system where male chauvinism takes the order of the day. Women have been reduced to homemakers with the chore of taking care of children, and the family affairs when husbands are away. However, in a matter of importance, rights and decision making processes either in the economic, social and political arena, women have been neglected for a long time (Bennett, 2006). However, through their struggles, it can be attested that women have played a critical role in economic, political and social spheres in the American society especially in the industrial North before the Civil War and the rest of the world. At the onset of the civil war, the capable and strong American men joined the army leaving women with no choice but to take up the roles in different enterprises, factories, farms besides caring at home. This kind of bravery in women has resulted in positive impacts on the American Society in Industrial North especially in the political arena where they have brought about change, equity and their rights to vote.

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The activity of women in the political arena started before the civil war. The first role of the American women, especially in the political arena, came during the revolution. At the time, the American leaders found women to be an important tool to enhance economic boycotts as a way to struggle against the British rule. Through women, the Americans achieved their objectives of ceasing the purchase of imported products from Britain by encouraging women to increase the production of homespun as well as seeking alternatives instead of relying on the products that can be obtained through importation (Head, 2017).

Women's role in the war was noted through money donation. This activity was conducted by Esther Reed who influenced different women groups to donate money that was to be channeled to the American war efforts. The donation was done on free will and given to General Washington (Head, 2017). Consequently, their role culminated in an adoption of election law in New Jersey where the voters were referred to a "he" or a "she" which resulted in the women's rights to vote. Such rights for both the white and black women were also echoed by Sojourner Truth in her famous speech AINT I A WOMAN during the 19th-century feminism movement. She never despised herself being a black woman slave from the south and urged even the white women to come out and fight for their own rights.

Irrespective of the tremendous efforts towards the fulfillment of black women's dream to attain their rights to vote, it is noted that the feminist movement was only reserved for the white women and the upper class. This was even after the government ratified the Nineteenth Amendment which denied a full establishment of the black suffrage in the South until in 1965. Women such as Mary Church Terrell among others became first women influence WWI. However, their efforts were continuously sabotaged since the white men were in control of the civil rights with minimal black men hence they could easily manipulate the womens rights against each other in order to deteriorate their development. For example, Elizabeth Cady Stanton had to shared object the idea of a black voting right in 186 (Head, 2017).

In conclusion, women in America have played a significant role in the social, economic and political arena and it is important to appreciate their struggle towards equity and rights to vote. Indeed women's place can be realized that is beyond homemakers since they proved strong to take up mens jobs during the civil wars. In their quest to achieve their rights to vote, women have been in the forefront and have never given up the fight. However, such efforts have been tremendously frustrated in especially in the USA amidst proving to be change agents in the society as depicted in deprivation of their rights to vote.


Bennett, J. M. (2006). History matters: patriarchy and the challenge of feminism. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Head, T. (2017 April 2). Feminism in the United States: An Illustrated History of U.S. Feminism. Thought Co. Accessed on 10 June 2017 from

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