Marriage granted the woman power over the assets acquired by the husband under Mexican law. The woman had the moral responsibility to determine, in the absence of the husband, what to do with the land. A married couple’s property was under the ownership of both the man and the wife (Dubois and Lynn 226). The marital property statute in California was new. In the house, the guy had full property ownership. There was no right for women to own land or to make decisions on behalf of the owner. In the case of death of the man, the married women became penniless because the law prohibited them from owning property.
Women abolitionists fought for the rights of the women in the society. The women under the guidance of people like John Quincy Adams presented the pleas of the women in Congress. Through such efforts, a bill in the New York State legislature offered women an opportunity to own and control their property. The rights of men and women were equal concerning owning property (Dubois and Lynn 243). Inherited wealth was under the supervision of women unlike in the past when women lost the property due to discriminatory laws. In the North, the abolitionists championed for an end to slavery and helped their brothers and sisters from the South to escape slavery using the train.
The Civil War exposed women to different duties compared to the ordinary lives in the domestic setting. Since the law did not permit women to take part in the war, their duties revolved around supplying the soldiers with food, medicine, and clothes. Mary Livermore is an example of such women. Mary mobilized soldiers and took nurses to places within the war field where injured soldiers needed help. In a society where the duties of women focused on domestic chores, the practice made women like Mary Livermore and Clara Barton experienced in the organization of services. The experiences made the women more confident leading to formation of International Red Cross by Clara Barton who was one of the women that organized relief for the soldiers (Dubois and Lynn 248)
Dubois, Ellen C., and Lynn Dumenil. Through Women’s Eyes: An American History with Documents. 4th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015.