DocsTeach

Women's Rights and Roles in American History

When our Constitution was written, it was silent on women. Excluded from most of the rights and privileges of citizenship, women operated in limited and rigid roles while enslaved women were excluded from all. Yet women have actively participated as citizens—organizing, marching, petitioning—since the founding of our country. Sometimes quietly, and sometimes with a roar, women’s roles have been redefined.

Use this page to find primary sources and document-based teaching activities related to women's rights and changing roles in American history. Many of the documents, photographs, and other sources are also featured in the upcoming Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote exhibition at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC – and the traveling exhibit One Half of the People: Advancing Equality for Women.

Cover Image: 1913 Woman Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC

(*)
Please enter a valid email address

Required

Required