Cult of Domesticity

The culture of domesticity (often shortened to "cult of domesticity" ) or cult of true womanhood was a prevailing value system among the upper and middle classes during the nineteenth century in the United States and Great Britain. This value system emphasized new ideas of femininity, the woman's role within the home and the dynamics of work and family. "True women" were supposed to possess four cardinal virtues: piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness. The women and men who most actively promoted these standards were generally white, Protestant, and lived in New England and the Northeastern United States. The cult of domesticity revolved around the women being the center of the family; they were considered "The light of the home".

Although all women were supposed to emulate this ideal of femininity, black, working class, and immigrant women did not fit the definition of "true women" because of social prejudice.

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Early and Antebellum America (1789-1860)

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