1800 – 1899

1800-  Germany-  Friedrich Wilhelm Froebel in says that children learn best through play. He believes that early education is crucial to success

1830 –Britain – Speenhamland system – married men got increased wages if they had family to support

1840s  Britain – laws were passed to ensure that children could attend school and not have to work in factories. The law said children no longer had to do underground mining and pregnant women were also offered some protection if they were doing factory work.

1840s- In Britain women were often paid in kind rather than in salary A major part of the wage was board and lodging.

1842 – Britain- William Beveridge says that women are doing vital unpaid service in the home when they care for the sick and elderly

1844 –Britain – regulated hours of women’s work in factories.

1847- Britain – Factory Act of 1847 notes the dangers to young babies of mothers doing factory work during pregnancy

1848 – US  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott open the first Women’s Rights Convention in the US

1850 – the tradition of the -family wage- exists on the theory that money for the man supports the family, increases commitment to the employer and increases purchasing power

1851 – US – Elizabeth Oakes Smith recognizes the dilemma of household finances saying “I even know of one woman who proposed to do the labor of one of her servants provided her husband would pay her, the wife, the price of service”

1851 – Canada – the first daycares for children open in Montreal and Toronto

1859 – US -John Dewey advocates against authoritarian education, advocating humanistic teaching of kids, and active experimentation so kids can learn.  He believes in early education with an emphasis on science. He says in “New Education” that children should not just rote memorize.

1860- US – Blanche Glassman Hersh in “The True Woman and the New Woman in Nineteenth-Century America” tries to relate new freedoms and rights to old roles saying that woman’s highest and most sacred duty is to the home and that woman are the moral guardians of the nation. Some feminists suggest that once the parenting job is done however women should be free to enter public affairs or any other endeavour

1860- US – first English speaking kindergarten in US begins in Boston valuing importance of raising children, not treating them as irritants

1861 – Women in S. Australia who are property owners can vote for the first time. Few women globally can vote.

1867 – Canada – BNA Act – (Constitution Act) -federal government gets jurisdiction over marriage and divorce  Women are ‘not persons in matters of rights and privileges”

1869 – US – Economist Virginia Penny in “Think and Act” says that wives by their labor and economy in domestic matters earn on average as much as their husbands

1869- UK- single female taxpayers are given the right to vote in local elections. Women in  several US states can vote, though this right is later repealed in some

1870 – US Julia Ward Howe was able to get a Mother’s Day celebrated in Boston and sons of Julia Calhoun Blakely honored their mother each year in Michigan.

1870 – Britain – Married Women’s Property Acts – married women could retain and acquire assets separately and need not automatically depend on husbands financially

1870 – US – census lists occupation categories and does not include housewife. Housewives are viewed as dependents because their labor is not seen to produce wage or product. It notes that 68% of women are homemakers but does not call this an occupational category. They are considered not gainfully employed because their labor produces no wage or product

1870 France – family wage – earner is paid more if supporting a wife and children.

1878- US – The Association for the Advancement of Women argues that the 1870 census neglected the home economy and the strong effect women’s unpaid work has on the creation of wealth

1881 – US – Susan B. Anthony argues that woman has been the great unpaid laborer of the world. She is frustrated by the ignorance and indifference of the majority of women about their status and rights.

1884 – Canada- in Ontario widows and spinsters can vote municipally, based on a principle of voting in lieu of men, while married women cannot vote

1885- Canada – Dominion Franchise Act – No women could vote. Eligible voters had to be male and property owners. Later unmarried female property holders won the right to vote. Married women with property did not get this right until 1888 (married women are a historically disadvantaged group even among women)

1887 – US – voting rights of women in Wyoming are repealed


1888 – US the Society for the Study of Child Nature was formed. It said that children need to be taught skills and it was not enough to just supervise and watch a child discover things on his own.

1890 – Germany – Karl Marx – argued that women should be out of the home earning wages. He wanted mundane household chores to be socialized.  When the birth rate dropped among the poor workers however, he added in 1900 an allowance for those who had children in order to give them maternity leave

1893 – Canada -The National Council of Women forms in Canada arguing for fairer taxes and for housework to be included in the census

1893- New Zealand grants women the right to vote but they cannot stand for election

1894 – UK- single women but only some married women can vote in local elections

1895 – Croatia- right to vote for female taxpayers,  granted in 1881 is repealed

1895- S. Australia- women are allowed to stand for election

1895 – US -Amelia Bloomer in “On Housekeeping- Woman’s Burdens” argues that the cooking, washing and sewing be done cooperatively to relive mothers of these burdens and to ‘give them time for self-improvement and the care and culture of their children”

1897- US – The National Congress of Mothers forms to give advice on how to parent.  Mrs. Theodore Birney says that taking care of children is a vital role in society and that women need help to know how to do it optimally. She  says that intelligent parenthood is vital for the race and that “to attain it is as well worth our effort and attention as the study of Greek, Latin, higher mathematics, medicine, law or any other professions”

1897 –US-  the National Congress of Parents and Teachers forms to improve education about parenting

1898 – US – Charlotte Perkins Gilman writes “Woman and Economy” saying that the labor of women ni the home enables men to produce more wealth She feels that women are economic factors in society

1898 –US -Elizabeth Cady Stanton in “Eighty Years and More’ says motherhood is the most important of all professions and that not enough attention is given to helping women develop skills for it.

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