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How Far Women Have Come

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How Far Have Women Come

HIS 204 American History Since 1865

Instructor: Joseph Scahill

Angelina West


How Far Have Women Come

I feel it is truly amazing to see how far things have come for women over the last century. There are so many freedoms, that I have easily taken for grant in my life. In the last few weeks, I have had my eyes opened and was shocked by all of the situations considered or was aware of. Thanks to the conviction, will power and courage of so many women before me, that we have risen from the insubordinate creatures to people, actual citizens, with rights, freedoms, needs, and control over our bodies, our children, and our government. Today women and men's rights are equal in America but, sadly, in the turn of the century there was a difference in the treatment of men and women.

Women cared for the home. They were only allowed, but limited to learning domestic skills and education. "Various cultural norms dictated a woman's limitations and opportunities, such as, where she could work, learn, and go for enjoyment." (Bowles, 2011)There were no chances of women getting an education then, because no college or university would accept women. Women had no access to positions of power; they were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine, holding office, and law.

I feel that Eleanor Roosevelt that served as First Lady from 1932 to 1945 had a great influence on American women that has lasted through the years. Eleanor was her husband's ears and eyes during her husband's presidency and aided human rights during her entire life. This amazing woman helped her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt, run the country. She did what no other First Lady, or woman had dared to do before; she challenged society's wrong doings. She was respected by many and was known as the First Lady of the World.

Before Eleanor Roosevelt, the role of the first lady was not a political role; it was merely just a formal title of the president's wife was given when her husband was president. Eleanor Roosevelt paved the way for all presidents' wives to come by being active in politics during and after her husband's presidency. Of course, she did not succeed instantly; she had many trials which helped her become an important and influential role model to all women then and now. Eleanor Roosevelt's dedication to her husband, her activeness in politics, and her volunteer work enabled her to change the role of the First Lady forever.

Eleanor Roosevelt's work had significant impact on the interpersonal domain. Her work touched the lives of millions of American women and influenced many aspects of American politics. She was a master of all her domain, interacting with millions and breaking down many barriers that stood in her way. Her work can be considered creative by many because it was so unconventional. She took on roles that were considered untraditional for women in her time, and with an innovative approach. I admire her work as a leader, a woman, and a creative individual.

Although, I cannot imagine having as far reaching an impact as Eleanor Roosevelt, I hope to be strong in the interpersonal domain as American women face today. On any level, I have a deep appreciation for her ability to help people and change lives. Eleanor Roosevelt is a master of the interpersonal domain because she could interact with anyone and she touched the lives of millions Americans. I as an American woman will never forget how she changed the lives on Women today.

Even though Eleanor Roosevelt helped make many changes during the nineteen hundreds, the great American era, the lives and roles of every American woman changed remarkably. At this time, women began to fight for equality, and to try to convince American society that they had much to offer this great country. Even though they could not vote throughout the majority of this period, they still managed to create many of the public policies and institutions that I and every other American woman enjoy today. Women of this time period managed to promote suffrage, and improve educational opportunities. They won laws delegating minimum wage and maximum work hours for female workers and children. They were able to implement many public programs and social welfare measures.

One of the biggest changes to American women's lives came from the suffrage movement of the progressive era. A woman we know as Susan Brownell Anthony. She is known as a magnificent woman who devoted most of her life to gain the right for women to vote. Her "idea was to focus on winning the right to vote by promoting education of the issue at the state level." (Bowles, 2011)During this progressive period, she helped women gain a newfound strength, independence, and wisdom. In return, they took it upon themselves to solve many social problems which not only helped themselves, but also all of America.

Susan Brownell Anthony went as far as writing a newspaper, the Revolution, and casting a ballot, despite it being illegal. I feel that Susan B. Anthony should be the founding mother of America. She was the leader in the woman's suffrage movement. The Suffrage movement started around 1840 and is still going on today. Women have only been voting for about eighty four years in America while men have always had the right to vote. In her time, women were not allowed to have anything under their name from the moment they were born. When it came to school, there was only one college in the whole world that admitted women.

During the turn of the century, when so much was changing in America, they sought to better the lives, their children, and all of America. Their role was crucial, and helped to promote equality for all Americans. Women played a really important role in the industrial line of work. This was also the beginning of women independence, although factory conditions were very bad and their pay was lower than men's pay. I learned in the nineteenth century this is when "women were of course among the first industrial workers."(Duois, 1998) Until then "their opportunities for meaningful work were few typically centered on domestic service." (Bowles, 2011)

In my life time, I had the privilege of watching one of the great women of American in action. Hillary Rodham Clinton, she is one of the most influential persons in my life. From a lawyer, to the First Lady of Arkansas, to America's First Lady, and a New York senator,



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