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ERIC Number: ED318647
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
American Historian Arthur Schlesinger's Challenge to Women Historians and Scholars.
Peterson, Barbara Bennett
In 1922, Arthur Schlesinger urged his fellow historians to write women into the history books. He recognized that the size and sweep of women's history offered scholars and students the opportunity of a new major field. His call failed to arouse skeptical minds through the 1940s and 1950s as feminism fell into disrepute. But with the resurgence of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, scholarly interest in the female experience in U.S. history revived. By 1989, the pall of silence that had excluded the experiences of women in history by default had been replaced by scholarly, rationally fair-minded research and writing. In their drive to have women's history accepted, proponents of the field are generally professional, seldom polemical, and rely on massive documentation and carefully gleaned statistics to advocate, and to prove new themes. Individuals within the field are moving beyond the discovery of women in history and the proving stage, to the debating stage, wherein professionals in the field now argue over what new materials in women's history really mean. Some of the new themes being explored are: (1) Did the Colonial period constitute a golden age for women? (2) Was the Revolutionary War liberating for women? (3) What was the woman's role within the family in the Colonial period? (4) Was there feminist activism before the abolitionist and suffrage organizations? (5) Was Victorianism in the sense of the "cult of true womanhood" suppressive? (6) For the period between the Civil War and World War I, what was the extent of feminist participation in union activism, and did technology take women out of the home? and (7) What were the activities of women in reform movements and agencies during the Progressive period? (JB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A