Women Roles Throughout the Civil War

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Women’s Roles Throughout the history of the United States, women have held many different roles in social, political and economic classes. Before the Civil War, a woman had a traditional role in the home, working as a housewife. The fight for equal and voting rights started but was unfortunately not continued until after the war. With new technology and industrial advances, women’s roles in the work force increased immensely and obtained many new opportunities. Although before the Civil War, women rarely took a part in society, the war significantly changed women’s roles in many ways. Before the Civil War, women typically worked in and around their homes. The typical housewife would cook, clean and raise many children while the men worked. Many people typically did not promote women to branch out outside their homes, particularly stated by historian, Linda Miles Coppens that “Horace Man, president of Ohio’s new interracial and coeducational college publishes ‘A Few Thoughts on the Power and Duties of Women’ in New York. He warns women against vocations of preaching or politics, explaining that they can influence public opinion in their homes and communities.” They were strictly housewives and were destined to raise children. As the Industrial Revolution began, the women became more active in the labor force. The Industrial Revolution seemed to be a turning point for many women. Due to the Civil War and the start of the Industrial Revolution, women became involved in more labor-intensive jobs. Although the Industrial Revolution started before the war, with men leaving to fight for the Confederacy or the Union, women needed to start taking the places of men. This gave them the opportunity to become a part of society. Northern male laborers either supported the women or believed they should not be anywhere near the work force. Many men were biased against women in
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