How did the antebellum market revolution affect the evolution of the role of women?during 1815-1860

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that the market revolution did a great deal to decrease the role that women were allowed to play in society.  The revolution caused them to be seen as economically useless and as fit only for work that did not contribute to the family's economic well-being.

Before the market revolution, women and men both tended to work at the family farm or the family business.  They had different roles, but both were working in roles that were important to the family economically (that kept the family fed and clothed).

After the revolution, men started going outside the home to work.  The home was no longer a site of work that brought money or resources in to the family.  Instead, the woman's role was to take money that the man had made and spend it (to buy food, clothes, etc).  None of her work helped the family economically (in any major way).

So the market revolution made women seem less important and pushed them towards a more secondary role in society.