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There were at least two "aspects" to the social/political role of women during this time period. The two aspects were at least somewhat in tension with one another.
On the one hand, there was the idea of republican motherhood and separate spheres that predominated for much of this time. These ideas held that the woman's "place" was in the home and that her main job was to take care of her children and raise them to be productive members of society.
On the other hand, there was the aspect of woman as social reformer. This role for women came about largely during and after the 1830s. In this role, women played important roles in such things as the abolitionist movement. This reformist aspect led eventually to the creation of a women's rights movement with the Seneca Falls convention of 1848.
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