Instead, the early 19th century in West Africa was characterized by the expansion of the illegal slave trade, the growth of legitimate export trade in agricultural produce, and the widespread introduction of Christianity through missionary evangelism. After the abolition of slavery, European nations then sought to control African territories to economic and political ends. Escalating competition among them culminated in the partition of Africa at the Berlin Conference ofleading to yet another phase of Euro-African relations in the 19th century, this time comprising of annexation, occupation, and the colonization of previously independent West African territories by England, France, Portugal, and Germany. Although the evolving roles of African men during this period has been extensively researched, it was not until the advent of second-wave feminism in the s that feminist academics sought to dispense with the androcentric discourses predominant in African history and make women visible in the literature.
At the beginning of the century, women enjoyed few of the legal, social, or political rights that are now taken for granted in western countries: Women were expected to remain subservient to their fathers and husbands.
Their occupational choices were also extremely limited. Middle- and upper-class women generally remained home, caring for their children and running the household.
Lower-class women often did work outside the home, but usually as poorly-paid domestic servants or laborers in factories and mills. The onset of industrialization, urbanization, as well as the growth of the market economy, the middle class, and life expectancies transformed European and American societies and family life.
For most of the eighteenth century through the first few decades of the nineteenth century, families worked together, dividing farming duties or work in small-scale family-owned businesses to support themselves.
With the rapid mercantile growth, big business, and migration to larger cities afterhowever, the family home as the center of economic production was gradually replaced with workers who earned their living outside the home.
In most instances, men were the primary "breadwinners" and women were expected to stay at home to raise children, to clean, to cook, and to provide a haven for returning husbands. Most scholars agree that the Victorian Age was a time of escalating gender polarization as women were expected to adhere to a rigidly defined sphere of domestic and moral duties, restrictions that women increasingly resisted in the last two-thirds of the century.
Scholarly analysis of nineteenth-century women has included examination of gender roles and resistance on either side of the Atlantic, most often focusing on differences and similarities between the lives of women in the United States, England, and France. While the majority of these studies have concentrated on how white, middle-class women reacted to their assigned domestic or private sphere in the nineteenth century, there has also been interest in the dynamics of gender roles and societal expectations in minority and lower-class communities.
Although these studies can be complementary, they also highlight the difficulty of making generalizations about the lives of women from different cultural, racial, economic, and religious backgrounds in a century of steady change. Where generalizations can be made, however, "the woman question," as it was called in debates of the time, has been seen as a tendency to define the role of women in terms of private domesticity.
Most often, depictions of the lives of nineteenth-century women, whether European or American, rich or poor, are portrayed in negative terms, concentrating on their limited sphere of influence compared to that of men from similar backgrounds.
In some cases, however, the private sphere of nineteenth-century women had arguably more positive images, defining woman as the more morally refined of the two sexes and therefore the guardian of morality and social cohesion.
Women were able to use this more positive image as a means for demanding access to public arenas long denied them, by publicly emphasizing and asserting the need for and benefits of a more "civilized" and "genteel" influence in politics, art, and education.
The same societal transformations that were largely responsible for women's status being defined in terms of domesticity and morality also worked to provoke gender consciousness and reform as the roles assigned women became increasingly at odds with social reality.
Through their novels, letters, essays, articles, pamphlets, and speeches these and other nineteenth-century women portrayed the often conflicting expectations imposed on them by society.
These women, along with others, expressed sentiments of countless women who were unable to speak, and brought attention and support to their concerns.
Modern critical analyses often focus on the methods used by women to advance their cause while still maintaining their delicate balance of propriety and feminine appeal by not "threatening" men, or the family unit.Mar 22, · The 19th Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, , ending almost a century of protest.
Sabine Hering and Gudrun Maierhof, in Die unpäßliche Frau ("The Indisposed Woman," Pfaffenweiler, Germany, ), write that German women almost never used commercial menstrual pads in the late 19th century [see a German disposable from that time].
Whilst West Africa was first settled about 12, BCE, the 19th century was a crucial time in the history of region. As abolitionist movements spread across Europe, West Africa’s position as the epicenter for the capture of slaves for transport across the Atlantic was compromised.
Instead, the. 19th-Century Immigration. The first quarter of the nineteenth century was marked by westward migration into the regions north and west of the Ohio River.
Mar 22, · Watch video · The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote, a right known as women’s suffrage, and was ratified on August 18, , ending almost a century of protest.
Women in Nineteenth-Century America by Dr. Graham Warder, Keene State College. During the first half of the nineteenth century, the evangelical fires of the Second Great Awakening swept the nation.