According to Howard Zinn, what were the social and political aspects of women between 1777 and 1850?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Zinn's perspective towards women in Colonial and Pre- Civil War America was one whereby women's rights were checked by the establishment of the domestic realm.  In Zinn's mind, the domestic realm that was imposed upon women was a way to keep their political aspirations in check.  For Zinn, the consolidation of power by the early male settlers of America was a realm where women were not allowed to penetrate.  The consolidation of power was one that could not be extended to women.  If it were, then Zinn feels that a wave of social reform that would have transformed power relationships between all people would have happened.  In keeping true with his idea that the founding of America was done on economic and political grounds of power, this makes the idea of giving rights to women something that was not going to be tolerate by those in the position of power.  Zinn feels that this started in the domestic realm, moved into the social and legal realms.  In such a progression, Zinn feels that the "cult of womanhood" developed that made keeping women confined int the realm of the domestic and something socially acceptable and politically necessary.

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