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Working conditions and education development in America from 1890-1920

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Running head: Working condions and educaon development in America from 1890-1920 1
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Running head: Working condions and educaon development in America from 1890-1920 2
Question 1
The writer of the book, Lois W. Banner has for long now taught in various universities in
the United States but she is now a professor of Gender studies and history at the University of
Southern California. The book which was published in 1974 discusses about women and their
conditions of work among other highlights.
In the early 1890s, America’s little rural centers were still transforming and taking the
shape of the urban industrial states. Labor at this time was almost free from immigrates from the
Eastern and southern parts of Europe. Organizations and corporations such as trust funds and
holding organizations of that time were doing well economic wise (pg. 13). But this wealth was
not being distributed equally to the society. The rich became richer and the poor became poorer
every day (pg. 17).
Labor force in the industrial sector consisted of men, their women and children too (pg.
25). The working conditions were unbearable, the working hours were long, and the
environmental condition was unhealthy an unsanitary especially for the women and children.
These conditions were so worse and the attempts by other workers to improve the situation only
led to chaos and violence.

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Running head: Working condions and educaon development in America from 1890-1920 3
It is in this era that women were seen as mere subordinates to men. This meant that the
women were to be submissive and adhere to the regulations and laws imposed upon them by men
(Lois, 1974). The women who were not working were expected to be married, stay at home and
raise the children. There was nothing else to do as they were not even allowed to acquire property
for themselves rendering them completely dependent on their men.
In general, between 1890 and 1920, feminism was highly expressed by the men especially
in the job sector (pg. 24). The good and well-paying jobs were being set aside for the men while
the women did the low paying jobs, positions such as manager and supervisor were for the men
and the women were to go to work and get supervised by the men. It was indeed a men’s world
then.
Toward the start of the ninth century, there emerged reformers and among them were a
group of women. These women held strikes which were not as violent as the ones that happened
in the 1890s and these were so mainly because it was the Progressive era (Lois, 1984). A number
of Americans were not happy with they was they were being treated by the government and the
huge corporations that they trusted there savings with. It is amidst this mood that the women
decided to also air their grievances through strikes. Later on came the movements which were the
turning point for most American women (pg. 67).
The movements political, social and even economical as they all had various objectives.
The Women’s Suffrage Movement was among the movements that defended the women’s place
in America (pg. 45) The movement was to ensure that women be treated equally as men were, to
hold public service offices, to be allowed to vote and enjoy all the political privileges at the men’s
disposal and above all to have equal privileges in the work place as men did.

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