Nation building is a lot of hard work, including physical labor. Nations (and cities) aren’t built only through proclamations and laws but depend on farmers, laborers, and local industries. Read the selections on working class women and girls working in the Lowell mills (pages 156–57, 168–172). How do the life experiences of working class women differ from what is idealized for “true women,” (discussed at the opening of chapter 4), or “the republican mother” (as discussed in chapter 3)? In other words, reflect on how economic class impacts the views of and the treatment of women in early U. S. society.
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