How did the role of women in W. Europe change after the Industrial Revoluntion?(APWH)

<p>I am really confused.</p>

<p>In the Stearns 2003 World History book, it states "Family life changed... the family for them served as an image of affection and purity. Children and women were to be sheltered from the storms of the new work world (factories). Women, traditionally active partners to merchants, now withdrew from formal jobs. They gained new roles in caring for children and the home, and their moral status in many ways improved, but their sphere was more seperate from that of men than had been true before" (pg. 546).</p>

<p>Yet, at the same time: "Women faced different demands during the industrial age to those that they face today. Women of the working classes would usually be expected to go out to work, often in the mills or mines. As with the children and men the hours were long and conditions were hard" (Women</a> and Children during the Industrial Revolution).</p>

<p>So... which is it?? From one source, I read that women and children were "sheltered" from these factories, and from another, I read that women and very young children "work in factories" under terrible conditions. Both sources should be reliable... what's with the inconsistency?</p>

<p>They're talking about different classes of women. Both sources are true for the class they discuss: middle- and upper-class women were regarded by their factory-managing husbands as a refuge from the workaday world. Lower-class women were enlisted to serve in, and to send their children to serve in, the factories themselves.</p>

<p>Generally across all classes, women gained more rights and freedoms and became more involved in public affairs.</p>

<p>WHen you look specifically at each class, the role of women is different.</p>

<p>In the upper and middle-class echelons, women were increasingly expected to serve as their families' homemakers as the Industrial Revolution opened up more jobs to their men and husbands and allowed them to secure stable incomes. A woman that had a job was seen as inferior in the way that their family was poor or something. With that being said, the roles of women in the newly generated working class as well as the already existing lower classes were basically the same in that they had to work and provide money for their children who usually did not have the comforts like the upper and middle class children did of having a mother that spent time with them.</p>

<p>Oh, gotcha ;)
That makes so much more sense.</p>