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What is the meaning of the term "Republican Motherhood?"

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"Republican motherhood" is a term from the time of the American Revolution and shortly after.  During that time, of course, the US was becoming a republic instead of a colony.  Americans came to feel that their children needed to be brought up differently in a republic.  These children needed to...

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"Republican motherhood" is a term from the time of the American Revolution and shortly after.  During that time, of course, the US was becoming a republic instead of a colony.  Americans came to feel that their children needed to be brought up differently in a republic.  These children needed to be brought up in a way that would make them good citizens of a republic (as opposed to subjects of a monarchy).  Republican motherhood was the idea that women were supposed to teach their children the skills and values that would make them good citizens.

This idea has been seen as a step on the way to women's rights.  Historians say this because this was the first time that women were credited with having a major role in the health of their country.  If the country was to thrive, the idea went, the role played by women would be crucial.  Women would need to do a good job of raising and educating their children for the sake of the country.  This was a major responsibility.

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