Following the murder of Abraham Lincoln, the law-making branch tackled the duties of the nation’s reconstruction. Because the Republicans managed Congress, they needed to preserve the power by improving the voters’ number in their stake. With the 14th amendment, slaves were finally allowed to vote (Dubois and Lynn 284). Nevertheless, the right victimized against the male gender. On the other side, female suffrage didn’t hold the same support in Congress, as was the case with male slaves. The majority of Republican controllers who were abolitionists urged for the amendment of the law to obtain a continued backing over the Congress. Female leaders failed to press for the 15th amendment due to a lack of support from the male counterparts who controlled the Senate.
The reconstruction era presented many challenges. The former slaves did not have any form of economic support. Most of them returned to their previous masters and worked for a share of the farm produce. Although the conditions seemed fair at first, the slaves ended up accumulating debts that they could not pay. Others looked for their spouses separated during the slavery and found that they had new homes. The ex-slaves had a challenge in settling into the new life. On the positive side, other ones owned large pieces of land and became independent. The reconstruction era gave the former slaves a right to vote as well as the right to pursue education (Dubois and Lynn 291).
After the Civil War, the occupations of women changed. They abandoned domestic chores and agricultural labor in favor of work in industries (Dubois and Lynn 294). Textile, garment and shoe industries provided employment for the women, breaking the norm of domestic duties. In 1870, the women rose to take office jobs such as copyists and stenographers. The printer’s union recognized the efforts of the women and allowed them into the union. The acceptance raised the percentage of women to 9% in the printing jobs (Dubois and Lynn 296). The occupations of women changed after the civil union. Women shifted from the common domestic chores to undertake employment opportunities reserved for men in the past. The civil war marked a positive trend for women at work characterized by higher pay and more responsibilities.
Dubois, Ellen C., and Lynn Dumenil. Through Women’s Eyes: An American History with Documents. 4th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015.