Women’s History

The essays in this section have been written by leading scholars of American history. They provide additional depth on events and ideas referred to in the introductory essay and, in some cases, different interpretations by historians looking at the same events. These essays are particularly useful in introducing your students to one of the most exciting aspects of studying history—understanding the past from a variety of perspectives.

Abigail Adams, engraving by John Sartain, n.d. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

First Ladies’ Contributions to Political Issues and the National Welfare

Author: Betty Boyd Caroli Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Pullman porter car from Scribner’s Magazine, September 1888

Home Adrift: Women and Domesticated Rail Travel

Author: Amy G. Richter Curriculum Subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Grade Levels:
“The Life and Age of Woman,” by A. Alden, Barre, MA, ca. 1835. (LC-DIG-pga-0350)

The Legal Status of Women, 1776–1830

Author: Marylynn Salmon Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Conference of Republican National Committee Women, 1927. (LOC, P&P)

Women in American Politics in the Twentieth Century

Author: Sara Evans Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

National Expansion and Reform, 1815–1860

Author: Joyce Appleby Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8

The First Age of Reform

Author: Ronald G. Walters Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Abolitionist flag, ca. 1859. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Abolition and Antebellum Reform

Author: Ronald G. Walters Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Angelina Grimke, Appeal to the Christian Women of the South, 1836. (GLC08642)

Angelina and Sarah Grimke: Abolitionist Sisters

Author: Carol Berkin Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Photograph of Betty Ford, 1974. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Divi

Betty Ford: A New Kind of First Lady

Author: Gil Troy Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:

Different Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement

Author: Anthony J. Badger Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Detail from a Harper’s Weekly cartoon by Thomas Nast, February 26, 1870. (LOC)

Education Reform in Antebellum America

Author: Barbara Winslow Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Religion and Philosophy Grade Levels:
Photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt, July 20, 1933. (Library of Congress Prints and

Eleanor Roosevelt as First Lady

Author: Maurine Beasley Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Rachel Jackson, ca. 1824, attributed to Mary C. Strobel. (GLC02793.019.02)

Female Trouble: Andrew Jackson versus the Ladies of Washington

Author: Catherine Allgor Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Field Relief Work at Gettysburg

Author: Jane E. Schultz Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Notice of relocation for Persons of Japanese Ancestry, 1942. (Gilder Lehrman C

From Citizen to Enemy: The Tragedy of Japanese Internment

Author: Julie Des Jardins Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics, World History Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Martha Washington. Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Martha Washington Creates the Role of First Lady

Author: Patricia Brady Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels:
Mary E. Lease in an illustration from Puck, 1896. (LC-DIG-ppmsca-28845)

Mary Elizabeth Lease: Populist Reformer

Author: Kelly A. Woestman Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, ca. 1890. (Library of Congress P&P)

Nineteenth-Century Feminist Writings

Author: Anne Firor Scott Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Battery B, 338th Antiaircraft Artillery, ca. 1943. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Patriotism Crosses the Color Line: African Americans in World War II

Author: Clarence Taylor Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“An Appeal to the Women of the United States” (Washington DC, 1871) (GLC08999)

Reconstruction and the Battle for Woman Suffrage

Author: Ellen DuBois Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Sandra Day O'Connor, ca. 1982. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Div.)

Sandra Day O’Connor: A Life of Action

Author: Meryl Justin Chertoff Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“Woman and Man Playing Tennis,” by Edward Penfield, 1902. (LC-USZC4-2922)

The Battle of the Sexes

Author: Gail Collins Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

The History of Women’s Baseball

Author: Kerry Candaele Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Western High School Girls’ Basketball, Washington, DC, 1899. (Courtesy Library o

The Impact of Title IX

Author: Barbara Winslow Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Lawmakers Who Voted Aye for the 13th Amendment, ca. 1865 (Gilder Lehrman Coll)

The Reconstruction Amendments: Official Documents as Social History

Author: Eric Foner Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Nathaniel Hawthorne, ca. 1860–1865. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs)

The Scarlet Letter and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s America

Author: Brenda Wineapple Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, 1846. (GLC05117)

The Slave Narratives: A Genre and a Source

Author: David W. Blight Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“Entrance of the American Army into New York, Novr. 25th, 1783,” published by Vi

The Social and Intellectual Legacy of the American Revolution

Author: Gary B. Nash Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Panorama of Chicago, ca. 1906, Universale View Co., Philadelphia, PA (LOC)

The Transnational Nature of the Progressive Era

Author: Daniel T. Rodgers Curriculum Subjects: World History Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Eliza Crossing the Ice from a scarf of scenes from Uncle Tom's Cabin. (GLC06894)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Matter of Influence

Author: Hollis Robbins Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“Bostonian’s Paying the Excise-man” (London: Philip Dawe, 1774). (GLC04961.01)

Unruly Americans in the Revolution

Author: Woody Holton Curriculum Subjects: Economics, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Athletic Sports, 1887. (Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Div.)

Why Sports History Is American History

Author: Mark Naison Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
The County Election, based on a painting by George C. Bingham, 1854. (Gilder Leh

Winning the Vote: A History of Voting Rights

Author: Steven Mintz Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
An Oklahoma migrant family in California, 1935, by Dorothea Lange. (LOC)

Women and the Great Depression

Author: Susan Ware Curriculum Subjects: Economics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Sojourner Truth, 1864. (GLC06391.20)

Women and the Home Front: New Civil War Scholarship

Author: Catherine Clinton Curriculum Subjects: Art, Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Women and the Music Industry in the 1970s

Author: Elizabeth L. Wollman Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels:
Jane Addams,Twenty Years at Hull-House (New York, 1910). (Gilder Lehrman Coll.)

Women and the Progressive Movement

Author: Miriam Cohen Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
“The Heroine of Monmouth, June 28, 1778,” Currier & Ives, 1876 (LC-USZC2-2573)

Women and Wagoners: Camp Followers in the American War for Independence

Author: Holly A. Mayer Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Justice of the Plains: The Movement Westward, John S. Curry (LC-DIG-highsm-02850

Women of the West

Author: Virginia Scharff Curriculum Subjects: Geography, Government and Civics Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Second edition of “Several Poems . . . ,” by Anne Bradstreet, published posthumo

“If Ever Two Were One”: Anne Bradstreet’s “To My Dear and Loving Husband”

Author: Charlotte Gordon Curriculum Subjects: Literature Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+