Laborers for Liberty: American Women 1865-1890

Laborers for Liberty: American Women 1865-1890

by Harriet B. Sigerman, Nancy F. Cott
     
 

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In the years following the Civil War, women in the United States took up many new roles and their impact on the nation became ever more visible. As new territories were settled and the country began to heal its wounds, great industrial expansion brought changes in women's occupations, education, and activities. The sharecroppers who labored in the fields of the

Overview

In the years following the Civil War, women in the United States took up many new roles and their impact on the nation became ever more visible. As new territories were settled and the country began to heal its wounds, great industrial expansion brought changes in women's occupations, education, and activities. The sharecroppers who labored in the fields of the South, migrants who put down roots in the Great Plains, immigrants who sought opportunities in the ever-swelling cities, the first generation of young women to attend universities—all were part of the changing American landscape.
Although women were expected to serve their families, communities, and the country by being good wives and mothers, their activities actually extended far beyond the home. After the Civil War, women organized to work toward civic, social, and religious improvement. They devoted themselves to a wide range of issues and causes—ending alcoholism, preventing violence against women, helping young farm women adjust to city life,increasing women's educational opportunities, and—above all—obtaining the vote for women. These were crucial stepping-stones in women's quest for social and political power.
Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Jane Addams are but a few of the women whose struggles for women's rights are chronicled in Laborers for Liberty. But the stories of women whose names are not familiar are also recorded. Each waged her own battle for liberty in the home, on the farm, and in the factory, as American women began to take greater control over their lives and to lay the groundwork for 20th-century feminism.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Much of this information helps puts today's women's movements in historical perspective."—VOYA

"Sigerman has done an excellent job of explaining the problems that beset American women of the post-Civil War period...and of showing how women of different races, cultures, and classes often suffered similarly because they were denied rights of citizenship granted to men."—Booklist

"Life on the frontier comes vividly alive through the excerpts from women's diaries.... Women's roles during industrialization and their political activity to gain suffrage are all chronicled.... A readable but substantial counterpoint to other history books at this level."—School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Leading historical scholars tell the story of America as women experienced it. The eleven volume "Young Oxford History of Women in the United States" series focuses on dramatic incidents and personal detail of women from a variety of ethnic and economic backgrounds at home, at work and in pursuit of their dreams. Black-and-white photographs and reproductions of art enhance this excellent series. Each book covers one historical period. Volume 6 addresses American women's experiences in the 1865-1890 time period.
Chris Sherman
In this entry in the Young Oxford History of Women in the United States series, Sigerman has done an excellent job of explaining the problems that beset American women of the post-Civil War period (whites, newly freed blacks, Native Americans, and Hispanics) and of showing how women of different races, cultures, and classes often suffered similarly because they were denied rights of citizenship granted to men. She thoroughly discusses social reform movements and the struggle for women's suffrage, but her tone is never strident or chauvinistic. The volume is well illustrated with black-and-white photos, and a chronology and an extensive bibliography are provided.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195080469
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
06/28/1994
Series:
Young Oxford History of Women in the United States Series , #6
Edition description:
ILLUSTRATE
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
7.75(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.59(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Harriet Sigerman is a historian and freelance writer who has contributed to European Immigrant Women in the United States: A Biographical Dictionary and The Young Reader's Companion to American History. She has been a research assistant to Henry Steele Commager at Amherst College and for the Stanton-Anthony Papers at the University of Massachusetts.

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