The American Republic to 1877 Video

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Progress by American Women

Pioneers in women's education began to call for more opportunity. Early pioneers such as Catherine Beecher and Emma Hart Willard believed that women should be educated for


their traditional roles in life. They also thought that women could be capable teachers. The Mil­waukee College for Women set up courses based on Beecher's ideas "to train women to be health­ful, intelligent, and successful wives, mothers, and housekeepers."


After her marriage Emma Willard educated herself in subjects considered suitable only for boys, such as science and mathematics. In 1821 Willard established the Troy Female Seminary in upstate New York. Willard's Troy Female Seminary taught mathematics, history, geog­raphy, and physics, as well as the usual home­making subjects.

Mary Lyon established Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in Massachusetts in 1837. She modeled its curriculum on that of nearby Amherst College. Some young women began to make their own opportunities. They broke the barriers to female education and helped other women do the same.

Marriage and Family Laws

During the 1800s women made some gains in the area of marriage and property laws. New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, Mis­sissippi, and the new state of California recog­nized the right of women to own property after their marriage.

Some states passed laws permitting women to share the guardianship of their children jointly with their husbands. Indiana was the first of several states that allowed women to seek divorce if their husbands were chronic abusers of alcohol.

Breaking Barriers

In the 1800s women had few career choices. They could become elementary teachers—although school boards often paid lower salaries to women than to men. Breaking into fields such as medicine and the ministry was more difficult. Some strong-minded women, however, suc­ceeded in entering these all-male professions.

Hoping to study medicine, Elizabeth Black­well was turned down by more than 20 schools. Finally accepted by Geneva College in New York, Blackwell graduated at the head of her class. She went on to win acceptance and fame as a doctor.

Despite the accomplishments of notable women, gains in education, and changes in state laws, women in the 1800s remained limited by social customs and expectations. The early femi­nists—like the abolitionists, temperance workers, and other activists of the age of reform—had just begun the long struggle to achieve their goals.

Reading Check Identifying Who established the Troy Female Seminary?


Checking for Understanding

1. Key Terms Define the following terms: suffrage, coeducation.

2. Reviewing Facts How did the fight to end slavery help spark the women’s movement?

Reviewing Themes

3. Groups and Institutions Discuss three specific goals of the women's rights movement.

Critical Thinking

4. Making Generalizations What qual­ities do you think women such as Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Elizabeth Blackwell shared?

5. Organizing Information Re-create the diagram below and list the areas where women gained rights.

Analyzing Visuals

6. Sequencing Information Study the information on the feature on the Seneca Falls Convention on pages 426-427. When did Wyoming women gain the right to vote? What "first" did Elizabeth Blackwell accomplish?

Interdisciplinary Activity

Music Write and record a song designed to win supporters for the women's rights movement. Include lyrics that will draw both men and women supporters.




Evaluating a Web Site

Why Learn This Skill?

The Internet has become a valuable research tool. It is convenient to use, and the information con­tained on the Internet is plentiful. However, some Web site information is not necessarily accurate or reliable. When using the Internet as a research tool, the user must distinguish between quality infor­mation and inaccurate or incomplete information.

Learning the Skill

There are a number of things to con­sider when evaluating a Web site. Most important is to check the accuracy of the source and content. The author and publisher or sponsor of the site should be clearly indicated. The user must also determine the usefulness of the site. The information on the site should be current, and the design and organization of the site should be appealing and easy to navigate.

To evaluate a Web site, ask yourself the following questions:

• Are the facts on the site documented?

• Is more than one source used for background information within the site?

• Does the site contain a bibliography?

• Are the links within the site appropriate and up to-date?

• Is the author clearly identified?

• Does the site explore the topic in-depth?

• Does the site contain links to other useful resources?

• Is the information easy to access? Is it properly labeled?

• Is the design appealing?

Practicing the Skill

Visit the Web site featured on this page at www. and answer the following questions.

1) Who is the author or sponsor of the Web site?

2) What links does the site contain? Are they appro­priate to the topic?

3) Does the site explore the topic in-depth? Why or why not?

4) Is the design of the site appealing? Why or why not?

5) What role did William Still play on the Under­ground Railroad? How easy or difficult was it to locate this information?

Applying the Skill

Comparing Web Sites Locate two other Web sites about the Underground Railroad. Evaluate them for accuracy and usefulness. Then compare them to the site featured above.




Chapter Summary

The Age of Reform

Utopian communities

• Groups start small voluntary communities to put their idealistic ideas into practice.


• Great revival meetings, the building of new churches, and the founding of scores of colleges and universities mark the Second Great Awakening.


• Reformers work to control consumption of alcohol.


• A movement grows to improve education, make school attendance compulsory, and help stu­dents with special needs.


• Reformers work to help enslaved people escape to freedom and to ban slavery.

Women’s rights

• Reformers call for equal rights, including the right to vote.

The Arts

• Writers and painters turn their attention to the American scene.

Reviewing Key Terms

On graph paper, create a word search puzzle using the following terms. Crisscross the terms vertically and hori­zontally, then fill in the remaining squares with extra let­ters. Use the terms' definitions as clues to find the words in the puzzle. Share your puzzle with a classmate.

1. utopia

2. revival

3. temperance

4. normal school

5. transcendentalist

6. civil disobedience

7. abolitionist

8. Underground Railroad

9. suffrage

10. women's rights movement

11. coeducation

Reviewing Key Facts

12. What were the founders of utopias hoping to achieve?

13. What problems in society did reformers in the temper­ance movement blame on the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages?

14. What were the basic principles of public education?

15. What was unique about the subject matter that Ameri­can artists and writers of the mid-1800s used?

16. How did William Lloyd Garrison's demands make him effective in the anti-slavery movement?

17. What was the purpose of the Underground Railroad?

18. What role did Catherine Beecher play in education for women?

Critical Thinking

19. Analyzing Information What role did Dorothea Dix play regarding prison inmates and people with mental illness?

20. Making Generalizations What was the significance of the Seneca Falls Convention?

21. Organizing Information Re-create the diagram below and describe the contributions Frederick Douglass made to the abolitionist movement.


Practicing Skills

Evaluating a Web Site Review the information about evaluating a Web site on page 429. Visit the Web site and answer the following questions.

22. What information is presented on this Web site?

23. What categories are used to organize the information?

24. What links does the site contain? Are they appropriate to the topic?

25. Do you think the site explores the topic in depth? Explain.

Geography and History Activity

Use the map on page 423 to answer the following questions.

26. Region What other country did passengers on the Underground Railroad travel to?

27. Location From what Southern ports did African Ameri­cans flee by ship?

28. Location What kinds of places were used as "stations" of the Underground Railroad?

29. Human-Environment Interaction Why do you think the routes of the Underground Railroad included many coastal cities?

Technology Activity

30. Using the Internet Search the Internet for a modern organization founded to support women's rights. Write a brief description of the organization, including its name, location, and a description of its purpose or activities.

Citizenship Cooperative Activity

31. The Importance of Voting Work with a partner to com­plete this activity. You know that the right to vote belongs to every United States citizen. In your opinion, what do citizens forfeit if they do not exercise their right to vote? Write a one-page paper that answers this question and share your paper with the other students.

Economics Activity

32. Goods are the items people buy. Services are activities done for others for a fee. List five goods you have pur­chased in the past month. List five services you purchased.


Self-Check Quiz

Visit and click on Chapter 14­Self-Check Quizzes to prepare for the chapter test.

Alternative Assessment

33. Portfolio Writing Activity Write a poem designed to win supporters for one of the reform movements discussed in Chapter 14.

The Princeton Review

Standardized Test Practice

Directions: Choose the best answer to the following question.

---Refer to School Enrollment, 1850-2000 graph on page 431 in your textbook.

According to the graph above, the greatest increase in the percentage of school enrollment occurred between

F 1850 and 1880.

G 1850 and 1900.

H 1900 and 1950.

I 1950 and 2000.

Test-Taking Tip
Use the information on the graph to help you answer this question. Look carefully at the information on the bottom and the side of a bar graph to understand what the bars represent. Process of elimination is helpful here. For example, answer F cannot be correct because this time period is not shown on the graph.

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