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[Detail] Suffragettes procession after release from prison.

Historical Research: Learning about the “Cult of Domesticity”

The so-called “Cult of Domesticity” was a view of women’s roles that emerged before the Civil War. Research the Cult of Domesticity, identifying the genesis of this philosophy and its major tenets.  Read the “Report of the Woman's Rights Convention,” held at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848 and the Declaration of Sentiments issued at the close of the convention.

  • Why do you think the Cult of Domesticity emerged in the early 19th century? What were the philosophy’s main points?
  • How do you think the ideas about womanhood in the popularly accepted Cult of Domesticity influenced the early women’s rights movement?
  • Does the Declaration of Sentiments conflict with the popular perceptions of advocates of the Cult of Domesticity?