How did the roles and rights of women change in the mid-1800s, and in what ways did they not change?

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Even as Beecher instructed women in their private roles, a restlessness was stirring among a small number of American women. As more women became educated, they grew eager to apply their knowledge and skills beyond the home. Some also became increasingly dissatisfied with the laws and attitudes that prohibited them from doing so. Fighting for Reform The religious revivals and reform movements of the early 1800s heightened women's sense of their potential and power. For some, participation in a reform movement was a first, satisfying taste of the world outside the family. Women played a prominent role in nearly every avenue of reform, from temperance to abolition. They marched in parades to support their causes. They participated in economic boycotts. Some even gave lectures at public assemblies. Through these activities, many northern middle-class women became more conscious of their inferior position in American society. At the same time, they formed strong intellectual and emotional ties with other women in similar positions. Fighting for Abolition The battle to end slavery was the primary means by which women entered the public world of politics. By the 1840s, some women were protesting their second-class position within both the antislavery movement and society in general. 

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