U3 American Women Discussion: True Womanhood
This week, you will consider the experiences of women in the several decades prior to the Civil War, specifically considering societal expectations reflected in the ideologies of True Womanhood and separate spheres, as well as the growing impact of the market economy on women, both free and enslaved. The concept of separate spheres and societal expectations of women inherent in the ideology of True Womanhood would begin to form by 1820 and continue to perpetuate through the beginning of the Civil War.
Topic: True Womanhood
The cult of domesticity associated with True Womanhood is similar to the late 18th century ideology of Republican Motherhood. True Womanhood included an expectation of piety in addition to existing notions of motherhood and expected roles for women. How would women react to society’s expectations in the decades leading to the Civil War? When you consider the expectations of domesticity, piety, purity, and submissiveness inherent in the ideology of True Womanhood, how have expectations of women, particularly in reference to the concepts of motherhood and maintaining a respectable home environment, changed since the end of the Civil War? Include specific connections to the Unit 3 reading to illustrate your perspectives.