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Britain 1625-88

The status of women

Society in 17th century Britain It was very patriarchal and misogynistic justified by the bible and its negative portrayals of women. (Eve and temptation)
Role of women Medical theories argued women were intellectually inferior because their brains were different to men. Therefore their purpose was to be married, be a housewife, and be pleasing to their husbands.
Father and Husband Being excluded from education women were not independent and therefore their roles were define by their fathers and husbands.
Impact of wealth on status of women Women could have social, political, and economic influence acting as estate managers and so forth. However their influence was limited as they could not hold office through which the political class exerted control.
The revolutionary years 1640-60 Women contributed to the war effort, preached, prophesied and published. The extent of the transformation however was far from revolutionary.
Women and the war effort Managed estates in husbands absences. Garrison commanders when their houses were besieged and worked on building fortification.
Religion Part of Levellers and Quakers in questioning society norms. 300 women claimed to be prophets which helped women gain a degree of authority.
Petitions and popular politics Women petitioned for peace, freedom of trade, changes to the imprisonment laws as well as other political issues.
Petition cases August 1643 a crowd of women petitioned parliament for peace and food and in 1649 10,000 women presented another petition to parliament, to release John Lilburne.
Writing Collapse of censorship enabled women to publish their ideas and thoughts. There was an enormous increase in the number of publications by women.
Impact of Restoration In 1660, Charles II reimposed on women the order of pre-war times.
Bridget Bendish Granddaughter of Cromwell, and daughter of the New Model Army general Henry Ireton. Managed a salt-pan and refinery in East Anglia. Challenged to duel a man who insulted her grandfather.
Created by: Haribro