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Civic Duties of Women

At Cornell the home economics department taught innovative classes on women's role in society during the 1910s on topics such as the "history of housekeeping" and the "history of women's organizations." In 1914, Martha Van Rensselaer and Flora Rose hired Radcliffe-educated Blanche Hazard as an assistant professor to develop a series of courses on the history of women and women's work. After women won the right to vote in New York State in 1918, Blanche Hazard wrote an essay entitled Civic Duties of Women. In this article, she instructed women about the electoral process, the different levels and functions of government, and the importance of their political participation. In a September 12, 1919 letter to Van Rensselaer, Hazard explained her reasons for writing the Civic Duties: "Our department did pioneering emergency work through its staff and the extension agents when the right to vote was first suddenly put into the lives of N. Y. State women, knowing as we did, that the average farm woman had not the access to many suffragists or political speeches or books and would want to be and need to be an intelligent voter and worker in public life."


College of Human Ecology Cornell University
  home sewing
  a profession?
  type of research?
  types of careers?
  national and international impact?
  educational techniques?
  role in national emergencies?
  influence on consumer culture?
  students' self-definition?
  practice apartments?
  role in the university?
  change to Human Ecology?
  women's suffrage
  Eleanor Roosevelt
  Marriage Course


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