The impact of the cult of domesticity on women in the mid to late 1800s

Virtues[ edit ] Godey's Lady's Book was a highly influential women's magazine which reinforced many of the values of the Cult of Domesticity. Purity — Virginity, a woman's greatest treasure, must not be lost until her marriage night, and a married woman had to remain committed only to her husband.

The impact of the cult of domesticity on women in the mid to late 1800s


The Emergence of "Women's Sphere" Pilgrim Hall Museum The 19th century American woman was expected to cook, clean, and take care of other household duties. Chaos seemed to reign in the early s.

Cities swelled with immigrants and farmers' sons and daughters seeking their fortunes. Disease, poverty, and crime were rampant. Factory cities were being built almost overnight and the frontier was reaching to the Pacific Coast. The public institutions — schools, hospitals, orphanages, almshouses, and prisons — were expected to handle these problems, but were overwhelmed.

Somewhere there must be safe haven from the hubbub and confusion of business and industry, a private refuge. That place was the home. Money equaled status, and increased status opened more doors of opportunity for the upwardly mobile. The home was the perfect location to display the wealth.

The husband had to be out in the public sphere creating the wealth, but his wife was free to manage the private sphere, the "women's sphere.

The Cult of Domesticity: Values Past and Present | Owlcation

As he developed skills for business, she cultivated a complementary role. This recipe for success was so popular that all who could adopted it. In short order the newly created roles for men and women were thought to reflect their true nature.

The impact of the cult of domesticity on women in the mid to late 1800s

A true man was concerned about success and moving up the social ladder. He was aggressive, competitive, rational, and channeled all of his time and energy into his work. A true woman, on the other hand, was virtuous.

Her four chief characteristics were piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity. She was the great civilizer who created order in the home in return for her husband's protection, financial security and social status.

The Godey's Lady's book provided guidelines for the acceptable roles of a "proper" Victorian woman. Women's virtue was as much a hallmark of Victorian society as materialism.

As long as women functioned flawlessly within the domestic sphere and never ventured from it, women were held in reverence by their husbands and general society. But this was carried to ridiculous extremes. To protect women's purity, certain words could not be spoken in their presence.The Nineteenth Century is often called the Victorian Age, taking that name from England's Queen Victoria who ruled for over 60 years.

The English Monarchs of the s were: George III () George IV () --Regent from William IV ( . Dec 04,  · The values of the Cult of Domesticity focused on the happiness of the family unit and the wholeness of the home.

Popular in the s to early s, s, and Reviews: The icon.

Cult of Domesticity - Wikipedia

During the reign of Queen Victoria, a woman's place was in the home, as domesticity and motherhood were considered by society at large to be a sufficient emotional fulfilment for females. During the era of the "cult of domesticity," a woman was seen merely as a way of enhancing the social status of her husband.

By the s and 40s, however, the climate began to change when a number of bold, outspoken women championed diverse social reforms of prostitution, capital punishment, prisons, war, alcohol, and, most significantly, slavery.

The impact of the cult of domesticity on women in the mid to late 1800s

Dec 04,  · Upper class woman of the late s wearing a white ruffle blouse. | Source The woman above would be typified as a participant in the Cult of Domesticity. Her late s style of dress reflects an upper-middle class or wealthy social status, as does the large wedding ring on her left leslutinsduphoenix.coms: Jun 20,  · Thus the cult of domesticity “privatized” women’s options for work, for education, for voicing opinions, or for supporting reform.

Arguments of biological inferiority led to pronouncements that women were incapable of effectively participating in the realms of politics, commerce, or public service.5/5(1).

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