Women in History Term Paper

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Women to History

Women have contributed to the history of the world from the beginning of time. Their stories are found in legends, myths, and history books. Queens, martyrs, saints, and female warriors, usually referred to as Amazon Women, writers, artists, and political and social heroes dot our human history. By 1865, women moved into the public arena, as moral reform became the business of women, as they fought for immigrant settlement housing, fought and struggled for the right to earn living wages, and stood up to the threats of the lynch mobs. The years beginning in 1865 is known as the Civil War era and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. It was a time of great changes, especially for African-American women such as Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. Women of all races had to fight for equal rights, even the right to vote (http://women.eb.com/women/nineteenth09.html).Womenhave indeed 'come a long way', as they say, from carrying picket signs demanding the right to vote for candidates in public offices to actually running and holding senatorial and congressional offices themselves. By 1980, women were not only holding public offices, but were running major corporations, and had entered into every major work field, such as police, fire department, military, and medical. There is such a vast spectrum of women and their accomplishments and contributions to history that it would be impossible to list them all. However, there are a several contributors who had a major influence on history and our lives today.

By 1865, the first women's rights convention that convened in Seneca Falls, New York was nearly two decades old and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was celebrating its thirteenth year in publication. By the mid-1860's, Emily Dickinson was a struggling writer, seeing only seven of her eight hundred poems published during her lifetime. Mary Edwards Walker became a surgeon for the Union Army and received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865 (http://women.eb.com/women/nineteenth09.html).Thatyear also saw astronomer Maria Mitchell became the first female professor at Vassar College, which opened its doors the same year. Louisa May Alcott's Little Women became a best-seller. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony found the National Woman Suffrage Association. And in 1869, Arabella Mansfield became the first woman admitted to the bar in the United States (http://women.eb.com/women/nineteenth09.html).

In 1881, Clara Barton established the American branch of the Red Cross and became its first president. Sophia Packard and Harriet Giles opened a school for black women in an Atlanta, Georgia church basement that became known as Spelman College. Ellen Swallow Richards and Alice Palmer with others founded the Association of Collegiate Alumnae which became known as the American Association of University Women (http://women.eb.com/women/crossroads02.html).In1893, Sophia Hayden designed the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In the same year, Mary Elicabeth garrett and Martha Carey Thomas donated to the funding of Johns Hopkins Medical Schools and insists that women and men be admitted equally. In 1894, Martha Carey Thomas became president of Bryn Mawr College for women that became the first to offer graduate degrees to women. And in 1899, Florence Kelley and the National Consumers League began a campaign against child labor and sweatshops and in favor of minimum wage legislation, shorter hours, improved working conditions, and safety laws. (http://women.eb.com/women/crossroads02.html).

By 1900, Approximately twenty percent of white women and forty percent of black women are in the workforce in the United States. Efficiency expert and industrial psychologist Lillian Gilbreth was the first female commencement speaker at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1902, Ida Tarbell began publishing The History of the Standard Oil Company in McClure's Magazine, an expose that contributed to the breakup of the company by a Supreme Court order in 1911 (http://women.eb.com/women/crossroads10.html).MaryKimball Keheww, Mary Kenney O'Sullivan, Jane Addams and other middle-class reformers, organized the Women's Trade Union League. Helen Keller became the first deaf and blind woman to graduate from Radcliffe College in 1904. Lillian D. Wald, Florence Kelley and others established the National Child Labor Committee to work for legislation to eliminate child labor. Emma Goldman began publishing Mother Earth magazine in 1906. The next year Margaret Slocum Sage donates $10,000,000 to endow the Russell Sage Foundation to sponsor research to improve social conditions in the United States. Mary White Ovington helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP, in 1909. The following year, Juliette Low organized the first American Girl Guide troop, later changed to the Girl Scouts and by 1927 every state had a Girl Scout troop. (http://women.eb.com/women/crossroads12.html).By1916 women had moved into public office as Jeannette Rankin became the first woman to be elected to the House of Representatives (http://women.eb.com/women/crossroads10.html).

The Roaring Twenties ushered the world, especially women from the Victorian Era into the modern ages. Hem lines went up and Coco Chanel came out with the classic pant suit for women (Robinson 2002). American women faced new challenges. The Industrial Revolution provided new domestic technologies and many women were able to enter the workforce, especially during World War II. However, many of these gains were temporary and the issues of comparable worth and affirmative action were among those addressed by such social movements as women's liberation (http://women.eb.com/women/modernamerica02.html).

The idea that a woman's place is in the home gained new support during the Great Depression. It was said that women working were taking the jobs away from men. However, during these years, the economy made work outside the home even more necessary and essential for many women. The thirties saw several firsts for women. A trained nurse named Ellen Church became the first airline stewardess. Jane Addams received the Nobel Prize for Peace and Amelia Earhard became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Frances Perkins became the first female Cabinet member, after being appointed secretary of labor by President Franklin Roosevelt. White House press conferences which allowed only women reporters was a break from tradition by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The First Lady also organized the White House Conference on the Emergency Needs of Women. This conference highlighted the effects the Great Depression had on women and laid out a plan for relief. Anthropologist Margaret Mead published Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies, challenging the Western assumptions about gender relations.

Margaret Mitchell published Gone With the Wind and Dororthy Lange started her travels through the Dust Bowl to record the devastation of the drought and the Depression (http://women.eb.com/women/modernamerica06.html)

In the mid-fifties Rosa Park's was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. The beginning of the sixties saw Wilma Rudolph set a new world record in the 100 meter dash. Rachel Carson published Silent Spring warning us of man's effect on the environment. Two books were published that had a great influence on American women were Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl and Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. Friedan also helped to found The National Organization for Women, or NOW. The sixties saw the first black woman elected to Congress from the Deep South as Barbara Jordan took office and also became the first woman ever to give the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention (http://women.eb.com/women/modernamerica13.html).

Perhaps no other woman of the past century had such an effect on the world and will continue to for centuries to come, than Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She brought home to everyone the real issues facing this world, hunger, children, poverty, sickness, death and most of all love. She could bring the most powerful men on earth to their knees in her presence. Soldiers would cease fighting while she determinedly walked through firing lines to rescue children. For Mother Teresa, work among the poor, the ill, the dying and the hopeless was like a prayer. Her ethics and energy amazed all who knew her. She built schools and housing for the poor. Her Missionaries of Charity, with about 4,000 nuns and monks run more than 500 schools, clinics, hospices, orphanages and other projects around the world. "When I wash a leper's wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord himself" she once said (Bryson 1997). The Dalai Lama, a fellow Nobel Peace laureate, called her "a living example of the human capacity to generate infinite love, compassion and altruism" (Bryson 1997).

Born in 1910, she became a novitiate in Loretto order.

Significant events in the life of Mother Teresa: 1910: She arrived in Calcutta in 1929 to teach at St. Mary's High School. In 1946 while riding a train to the mountain town of Darjeeling to recover from suspected tuberculosis, she claims to have received a calling from Jesus "to serve him among the poorest of the poor" (Bryson 1997). In 1947 she was given permission to leave her order and move to Calcutta's slums to set up her first school. In 1950, she founded the order of Missionaries of Charity. Then in 1952, she opened Nirmal Hriday, Pure Heart, a home for the dying, and the following year she…[continue]

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