Why did Protestant Christianity and Protestant women emerge as forces for social change?

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boomer-sooner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

 The Protestant church went through many changes after the Reformation in 1517.  After leaving Europe and hitting the shores of modern day America the Church was fairly strict not only on doctrine but on the Church's influence in society.  The first Puritans were not as socially liberal as they are today.  Warfare and technology advancements, which often received pushback from the Protestant Church, are in large part responsible for the shift in social reform.

      After the American Civil War, women's role in society changed.  The War left many homes without a man and required women to take on traditionally male roles.  This change encouraged society to view women as more socially acceptable in politics.  Additionally, the migration from east to west also required women to take on traditionally male roles.  This shift in responsibility encouraged women to be more outspoken and their ideas were accepted.

     Along with more roles in society, women were also able to have more free time due to technology advancements.  Some women choose to work outside the home, but those still homemakers the technology gave more freedom.  The industrial revolution brought about many changes to laws which protected workers.  Women were also pushing for changes in society because they felt, and in large part were, more accepted in political society.

     Protestant women were more part of society and therefore grew to quickly use the political machine to push social change.  They were allowed because technology and social migration encouraged them to be part of society.  Lastly, this took place within the Protestant church because it was not subject to the strict demands of the Pope or male hierarchy.