Republican Motherhood - Protecting our great Republic - 'Merica!

Republican Motherhood was the ideology representing women's roles in the time before, during, and after the American Revolution. It was the idea that daughters and mother should be taught to uphold ideas of Republicanism. They would pass their Republican values to further generations.

TITLE OF PAGE "Republican Motherhood"
TITLE OF PROGRAM U.S. History Online Textbook
DATE OF ACCESS Thursday, January 07, 2021



Women's role in society was altered by the American Revolution. Women who ran households in the absence of men became more assertive. ABIGAIL ADAMS, wife of John, became an early advocate of women's rights when she prompted her husband to "REMEMBER THE LADIES" when drawing up a new government.

Pre-Revolutionary ministers, particularly in Puritan Massachusetts, preached the moral superiority of men. Enlightened thinkers rejected this and knew that a republic could only succeed if its citizens were virtuous and educated. Who were the primary caretakers of American children? American women. If the republic were to succeed, women must be schooled in virtue so they could teach their children. The first American female academies were founded in the 1790s. This idea of an educated woman became known as "REPUBLICAN MOTHERHOOD."

As in the case of the abolition of slavery, changes for women would not come overnight. But the American Revolution ignited these changes. Education and respect would lead to the emergence of a powerful, outspoken middle class of women. By the mid nineteenth century, the SENECA FALLS DECLARATIONon the rights of women slightly alters Thomas Jefferson's words by saying: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal..."