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Research Paper on City of Women by Christine Stansell

Research papers on City of Women by Christine Stansell are often requested for United States history courses or women's history classes. Paper Masters writes custom papers on issues of women's studies and can use the City of Women as a main resource, if requested.

Using City of Women in a Research Paper

City of WomenThe main argument in Christine Stansell’s book titled, City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1790-1860, is that women have suffered much misfortune in the labor force and this in turn brought specific social pressures on themselves and others.  The climate of a community with laboring women brings its own sense of culture and economic relations to society.  This provokes author Stansell to remark on New York City “as a female city concealed within a larger metropolis of New York.”

Stansell begins her argument with the history of women in New York City. The picture most likely revealed in our imagination of eighteenth century New York is the following:

  1. A highly energized city buzzing with new money
  2. A Riotous New York City of rich men, festooned women, and polished coaches

 There was however, the dark seedy side of the city, which existed more on dirty overcrowded neighborhoods. The economic development was completely connected to this poverty-ridden culture because the manufacturers knew this is where they would find their cheap labor. 

Women figured into this equation as equally as the men. Female poverty could be said to exist on an even larger scale due to the economic resources available to women versus men. The causes for female poverty were not just economical but in most cases familial. The most common source of employment for women was domestic service. This area of enterprise enveloped a good number of common tasks that the more prosperous would rather pay to have done.

Relationships and The City of Women

Another aspect of female expectancy was in the role of relationships.  Women depended on men for most practical matters of existence.  This was in the form of emotional as well as physical needs. Unfortunately, upon marriage there was no equal exchange. Due to the lack of work for women, economic dependency was great. This led to much hostility for men as well as women.  This began to change however, as the young working force gave women more latitude and a stronger female presence. 

Another change began with the release of traditional roles found in such a big city. With the expansion of wage work for women outside of the domestics, daughters could experience independence outside the family home. This grew out of necessity since between 1830 and 1840 the female population of New York City altered from equal to men to over 25% more then men. From this strength in numbers, women began to depart from the traditional roles set down by social laws of gender and class.

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