"Republican Motherhood" is a 20th-century term for an attitude toward women's roles present in the emerging United States before, during, and after the American Revolution (c. 1654 to 1920). It centered on the belief that the patriots' daughters should be raised to uphold the ideals of republicanism, in order to pass on republican values to the next generation. Republican motherhood meant civic duty. Although it is an anachronism, the period of Republican Motherhood is hard to categorize in the history of Feminism. On the one hand, it reinforced the idea of a domestic women's sphere separate from the public world of men. On the other hand it encouraged the education of women and invested their "traditional" sphere with a dignity and importance that had been missing from previous conceptions of Women's work.
American History USA Articles
- What was Coverture? Understanding the Rights of Women in Early America
Coverture was a principle of English common law in which a married woman could not own property, sign contracts, control the use of any wages earned, or devise a will.