What are some of the things that have influenced the role of women since the colonial period?
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The Industrial Revolution had a major impact on the role of women in America. Prior to the advances in technology of the mid-to-late 1800s, women were confined to the house simply because housework was an 18-hour-a-day 7-day-a-week job. As technology came to the household (sewing machine, washing machine, stove, indoor plumbing, vacuum, etc.), women found more hours in the day for other things.
The advent of the public education system (early 1900s) also changed the role of women because now they not only were relieved of the task of teaching their own children to "read, write, and figure" but they also had more "free" time because the children were off to school all day.
World War II showed women that they were capable of working all day, bringing home a paycheck, paying the bills, managing the household, and managing the children all by themselves. After the war many did not want to go back to the previous lifestyle of the stay-at-home mom.
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