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Social Division of the Pacific Northwest in the Early 20th C

             Social Division of the Pacific Northwest in the Early 20th Century.
             The Pacific Northwest by definition of it geography encouraged a split social environment. The urban areas grew because of the commerce trade and the exportation of goods produced in the rural areas. Urban men typically were educated as bankers and businessmen with a tremendous influence on the political progress of the cities in which they lived. These men also controlled the grain prices until the farmers created the Granges to help them achieve fair trade value for their produce. Women who lived in the cities without the security of a man's wealth and protection were limited to unskilled labor typically because they were not allowed to further their academic education and therefore were not admitted to trade schools. Prostitution was not uncommon for an unemployable woman as her last resort for survival. In rural areas men typically labored with their wives to work the farms and produce area crops. Unmarried women could find work as teachers because professionals were scarce in the outlying areas. However, not only would she would have to live with the families in the area, but oftentimes would have to accept less than half of the wages that would have been offered to a male teacher (Ward 91). A woman who did not wish to marry could find work outside the home as a missionary, ironically though, many religious orders required women missionaries to be married. Consequently rural woman's lives were as controlled by men as their urban sisters because no matter where they lived women could not vote, further their education or hold title to land. With the arrival of the railroad and improved wagon roads the geographical division lessened. Travel became easier and more secure and more women came to visit and stay in the Oregon and Washington states. Some of these visiting women lectured on the political rights of women, while some brought with them the ideals and expectation of how to be a lady.

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