Far too often, United States history curricula race through the fifty years between the Civil War and Reconstruction on the one end, and the Great Depression and World War II on the otherbut the tumultuous, crisis-filled, frequently violent, and wholly transformative Gilded Age (1870s-1890s) and Progressive Era (1890s-1920s) deserve our focused consideration. As the country… MORE
20th CenturyProgressive Era
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Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department and Princeton University dean, recently penned an opinion piece in The Atlantic titled Why Women Still Cant Have it All, reinvigorating a national conversation about womens roles in our society. While the details of Slaughters piece would have been foreign to female… MORE
Antebellum America witnessed the growth of specialized facilities for people suffering from mental illness known as asylums. Reformers believed that the right environment and specialized care could provide some good for this “less-fortunate” class. Unsurprisingly, many of the patients who found themselves in asylums were women. These institutions went through their share of ups and downs, from the promise that came with their initial construction to the detriments of underfunding, overcrowding, unwarranted commitment, and abusive conditions seen by the end of the century. It was an area ripe for the reform impulse of the era, and a multitude of people—many of them female—contributed to the advances seen in that realm. Like other causes of that period (such as abolitionism), the rights of the mentally ill became inextricably intertwined with the rights of women.