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About the Author: Warren Hierl taught progressed Placement U.S. History for twenty-eight years. The has performed 250+ AP US background workshops because that teachers. He was a member that the committee that composed the original progressed Placement Social research studies Vertical groups Guide and the progressed Placement U.S. History Teachers Guide. He has actually been a reader, a table leader, and, because that the previous eight years, the concern leader ~ above the DBQ at the AP U.S. History reading.

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In other words- Mr. Hierl grades the essays you will write for the APUSH exam.


The Cult of Domesticity (also known as The Cult of True Womanhood) was a philosophy that search to specify gender functions in the nineteenth century. This approach took the position that there to be “separate spheres” the regulated sex roles in American society; the viewpoint was largely embraced by the middle and also upper classes. Fundamentally, the cult hosted that a women’s location was in the house where her exceptional virtue was to create a strong morally uplifting atmosphere for she children and also husband, whereas a man’s place was in the an ext corrupting and also violent human being of work and also public affairs where he alone must support the family.


Prior to the American Revolution, ladies were viewed by plenty of as weaker and morally inferior to men. During the American Revolution, women took on an expanded role of managing their homesteads and also providing support for the Revolution. This expanded function for women stood for a challenge to the classic view the women. Slowly, the education of ladies became an ext important and also the idea the “republican motherhood” emerged. That was thought that republican mothers need to be educated in the worths of republicanism and democracy so that the principles on i m sorry the American transformation was based might be passed on to future generations. That was thought that as the major educator of your children, females were in a distinct position come ensure that their kids would be raised with public virtue instilled in them, thus coming to be solid citizens.

This expanded role for women represented a an obstacle to the traditional view that women. Slowly, the education of ladies became more important and the idea the “republican motherhood” emerged.


The development of a nationwide market economic climate in the nineteenth century led to the decrease of home production as males took tasks in the manufacturing and commercial sectors. This intended that middle and upper-class ladies were no much longer agents that production and also could concentrate on creating a nurturing home environment. In this role, that was thought that women had actually superior ethical virtue come men and also this to be demonstrated through domesticity, piety, purity, and submissiveness. If females moved external this role, for circumstances by engaging in politics or publicly speaking, castle were stated by numerous to “unsex” themselves. Perceived from today’s perspective, the “cult of domesticity” appears condescending and also chauvinistic. It should be remembered the the cult that domesticity to be something the middle and upper-class ladies aspired to. Negative women, particularly poor immigrant women, worked long hrs in dangerous problems for short pay, and, they had actually nothing else to look front to their whole life yet dangerous work for low pay. Plenty of lower-class ladies aspired to tend to a home, because it was a stable, safe, secure ar for day-to-day life, much to the contrary of working a attention factory.

It should be remembered the the cult that domesticity to be something that middle and also upper-class females aspired to. Bad women, specifically poor immigrant women, worked long hours in dangerous conditions for short pay.

The home environment envisioned by the cult that domesticity may have actually been what lock aspired to and what lock longed for, however it was plainly a pipeline dream. The possibility of attaining that status was restricted to the upper-middle class and above. Even working, native-born white women, such as the “Lowell girls”, perceived employment as short-term until marriage offered a chance at social mobility. Together did many Victorian values, the idea that the cult of domesticity clearly offered class difference designed to definitively elevate some over others. Numerous magazines that the time, such as Godey’s ladies Book and Peterson’s Magazine, reinforced the notions the the cult and pictured idyllic portrayals the nurturing residence environments.

 As did plenty of Victorian values, the idea of the cult the domesticity clearly offered class distinction designed come definitively elevate some over others.


However, the cult the domesticity was by no method accepted by every women. The experience of an expanded role for women throughout the American change left many women unsatisfied through the confining role of republican mothers and housewives. As well, the emerging abolitionist movement available an possibility for ladies to exert your virtue and purity for a moral cause, lobbying, and also speaking the end in public. Activists, prefer Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, encountering gender discrimination as they to visit the London Anti-Slavery Conference in 1840, figured out to press for a break down of the concept of different spheres the would permit women higher freedom. Eventually this led to the Seneca fall Convention in 1848 that driven for same rights, consisting of suffrage, for women. Sentimental novels by females authors such together Catherine Sedgwick and also Susan Warner (who Nathaniel Hawthorne defined as amongst “…a cursed mob that scribbling women…”) emphasized the troubles women had coping with societal values while longing because that greater an individual autonomy.

The experience of one expanded role for women during the American revolution left many women unsatisfied v the confining duty of republican mothers and housewives.


The cult of domesticity persisted right into the Gilded period as the elite sought to clearly distance us from lower social classes. However, as higher educational opportunities for females increased, many college-educated women sought to use their education and learning by stepping external of the traditional women’s sphere. Many of these women arised highly trained and anxious to put their education and learning to coherent use just to find a collection of societal worths that squashed those hopes. Some, like Jane Addams and Charlotte Gilman, endured from nervous illness with the remedy that “rest cure”.

The cult the domesticity persisted right into the Gilded age as the upstream sought to clearly distance us from lower social classes.

The remainder cure embodied the cult that domesticity’s id that women were fragile, submissive, and also ill-suited for intellectual pursuit. These women were put to bed, fed, and also massaged, and also prohibited native engaging in intellectual activities; in other words, castle assumed the duty traditionally meant of women as helpless creatures who essential nurturing. Fairly quickly this women challenged the classic social mores and became passionately affiliated in social work. Furthermore, ladies were important in your advocacy of steady reform finishing in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment giving women’s suffrage in 1920. Together well, technological advancements in the so late nineteenth century such together the telephone and typewriter also listed acceptable tasks for native-born white woman. This caused an erosion that the rigid wall surfaces of the different spheres and opened up more opportunities for women.

Furthermore, females were critical in their advocacy of steady reform culminating in the ratification the the Nineteenth Amendment approving women’s suffrage in 1920.


However, the cult of domesticity to be by no method dead. If the breakdown of the idea of separate spheres allowed a degree of choice for ladies that was not formerly accessible, many women decided to remain within the confines of the domestic sphere. Regularly the notions the the traditional duty of women came to be an agree societal stereotype in different eras. Particularly in the 1950s, culture presented the concept that the duty of the best women was very comparable to what it had previously been throughout the heyday the the cult. These notions of domesticity, subordination, and also passiveness were reinforced by magazines favor Housekeeping Monthly (that published The an excellent Wife’s Guide) and also sitcoms such together Leave It to Beaver. The reintroduction of the cult the domesticity motivated a reaction that led to the second Feminist activity of the 1960s spurred on by Betty Freidan’s The Feminine Mystique.

The reintroduction of the cult the domesticity triggered a reaction that resulted in the second Feminist motion of the 1960s spurred on by Betty Freidan’s The Feminine Mystique.

What arised from this struggle represented a complete malfunction of the notion of separate spheres limiting the duty of females in society. The failure allowed freedom of selection for ladies to expropriate the ball of domesticity, to disapprove it and also move right into the economic and public sphere, or to opt for a combination of the 2 viewpoints.

The cult that domesticity attempted to define gender roles in the nineteenth century by limiting women to a residential sphere. It offered as an ideal to which middle and also upper-class women can aspire and a means of course distinction. Together the education of women and the acceptability of the employment of native-born white women exterior of the residence became more prominent, the id of different spheres began to unravel. While part women remained enthusiastic supporters of the traditional role of women, the smashing of definitive boundaries of the role of ladies in society noted significantly greater choices for women.

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The cult of domesticity attempted to specify gender duties in the nineteenth century through limiting females to a residential sphere.