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Women! Prior to the Industrial Revolution, both in Britain and the United States, farming was the primary means of earning a living, and all members of the family generally contributed to this livelihood. The Industrial Revolution brought about a gradual population shift from the country to the cities, however, as more and more people moved to take advantage of the factory jobs that were available. Although women and men were both working in factories, and women were actually working outside the home in record numbers, the tasks of motherhood and caring for the home remained exclusively the woman's. The Victorian era of the late 1800's was a backlash against the rapid societal change of the industrial period. The role of the woman of the household as wife, mother, and creator of a nurturing home environment attained a new emphasis. The image of the happy family of Queen Victoria captured the imagination of Britons and Americans alike, further enhancing this reinvention of the role of the woman in the domestic sphere.
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