Unit 6: The Question of Women's Place in Society
As with the economic and technological transformations – sometimes called the Market Revolution – that we examined in Unit 5, gender relations in the United States were also changing during this period. In the rural agrarian economy, men and women often worked side-by-side in the same location at the farm and the home, even when divided along gender lines. During the move to a professionalized capitalist workplace, more distinctions were made between male and female work (for some classes, at least). Alongside the political changes that empowered white men, these transformations coincided with an increasing emphasis on women's importance in the private sphere in opposition to men's dominance in the public realm. In this unit, we examine the emergence of the first wave of the feminist movement in the United States, in the form of the fight for suffrage and increasing literary attention to the place of women in society.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 32 hours.