How did changes in the United States impact women’s lives from 1800-1860?

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There are two somewhat contradictory major changes in women's lives during this time. 

On the one hand, this was the time of the rise of the idea of "separate spheres" for men and women.  This idea came about as the commercial revolution took paying work and moved it out of...

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There are two somewhat contradictory major changes in women's lives during this time. 

On the one hand, this was the time of the rise of the idea of "separate spheres" for men and women.  This idea came about as the commercial revolution took paying work and moved it out of the household.  This idea held that women should dedicate themselves to being mothers and wives.

On the other hand, there was the growing involvement of women in reform movements.  Social changes like the Second Great Awakening had emphasized the idea of perfecting society.  This led women (and men) to participate in reform movements such as abolitionism and the movements for temperance and for prison and insane asylum reform.

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