Primary source analysis assignment #2: republican women

This week’s primary source readings work in conjunction with the lecture about Republican women. They demonstrate the ways in which women, despite the limitations often placed on them in this time period (after the American Revolution) were attempting to have some influence over their own lives and the ways they responded to criticism that they were intellectually inferior to men. Think critically while reading.


After you have read and understand the source you will then compose a response to the following questions. Be sure to cite the page numbers (or sections) of the source in parenthesis (MLA in text citation) each time you refer to ideas that come directly from the source, or if you use word for word phrases from the source. Your response should be in your own words.  You can upload your responses in a word file, OR you can cut & paste your response in the text entry box below.

Primary Analysis Questions (Copy & Paste the questions into a new file or the text entry box):

“Equality of the Sexes,”by Judith Sargent Murray (1790)

1.     What activities are women expected to occupy themselves with? How does Murray view these tasks? What impact do they have on women and popular perceptions of women? Explain.

2.     According to Murray do women have the right to the same education as men? Why or why not?

3.     What reasons does Murray give to argue that women are equal to men?

“One Woman’s Quest to Provide Higher Education for Women.”

1.     What was the primary goal of early female education at girls’ academies and schools? What type of education did they receive and why did many fear higher education for women?

2.     In the 19th century what prevented most working or educated women from pursuing careers?

3.     How did women like Emma Hart Willard transform ides about higher education for women? In what ways did she deal with negative attitudes regarding female education?