HeritageQuest Online is a comprehensive treasury of American genealogical sourcesrich in unique primary sources, local and family histories, and finding aids. The database provides genealogical and historical sources for more than 60 countries, with coverage dating back as early as the 1700s.
Throughout history, and particularly during the Victorian era (mid-to-late-1800s), women—especially from the upper and middle classes—had little opportunities beyond those of the hearth and home. The New Woman was a response to these limiting roles of wife and mother. Starting in the late nineteenth century, more and more women remained unmarried until later in their lives, gained an education, organized for women’s suffrage, and worked outside the home. Women also supported the war effort during World War I. Such developments allowed greater freedom. This was manifest, for example, in the image of the bicycle rider—wearing bloomers instead of long dresses and free to go wherever, whenever she wanted, by herself or with her friends. But these changes didn’t come easily or without pushback from both men and women who were unused to the notion of women’s independence. The following set illustrates the movement’s ideals, the women who embraced it, and a society made uncomfortable by this seismic shift in the roles of men and women.
Women entered the workforce in large numbers during World War II, replacing men who had joined the armed forces. Symbolized by “Rosie the Riveter,” these women significantly changed the place of women in labor and in society. From driving streetcars to selling war bonds to working in defense industries, women played an important role in helping the country prepare for and win the war. Through this set, readers will learn about the opportunities and experiences of women laborers on the home front during the war.
In December 2015 the US federal government removed longstanding restrictions on women's roles in the military by opening combat positions to female personnel. The groundbreaking move marked the culmination of a gradual process through which women were slowly incorporated into full participation in the US Armed Forces.