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A New Life For Women

A New Life For Women Before the civil war, a woman had a specific place in society, one that was extremely inferior to that of men. People had developed notions of what it meant to be a woman. The Civil War changed those notions. The War was the beginning of woman’s strive for suffrage in America. As the war came to an end, women became more involved in the world, and were allowed to achieve and accomplish a lot of things that only men had done in the past. “The attributes of True Womanhood, by which a woman judged herself and was judged by her husband, her neighbors, and society could be divided into four cardinal virtues- piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity.” (Welter 152). In her work, American Quarterly: The cult of True Womanhood, Barbara Welter explains her view on the role of a woman before the Civil War. In order for a girl to reach “true womanhood” she would have to reach for perfection in the four above categories. After the war, two of these attributes began to decline greatly in women, as they began to find new roles in society. Women started becoming more independent, and the submissiveness and domesticity gradually started to fade. They still had these qualities, but they were definitely not as strong as they had been before the war. “Submission was perhaps the most feminine virtue expected of women. Men were supposed to be religious, although they rarely had time for it, and supposed to be pure, although it came awfully hard to them, but men were the movers, the doers, the actors. Women were the passive, submissive responders.” (158-9). Women were very submissive before the war, but after it, they felt that they had earned a new role. They learned to perform the duties formerly only performed by men, and now felt that they did not have to give in so easily to the commands of them. “A wife should occupy herself ‘only with domestic affairs-wait till your husband confides ...

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A New Life For Women . (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 09:43, September 01, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/64238.html