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The dangers of periodization label schemes in the gilded age United States: don’t forget the ladies
Scholars have neglected to study the impact of women of the Gilded Age from 1865 until the outbreak of World War I in 1917 because of their uncritical acceptance of periodization labels that have maintained unintended stereotypes and reputations of the era. Despite efforts by revisionist historians in the recent decades to study women in historical periods such as wartime or civil rights eras, very little comprehensive research has focused specifically on the role of women in this economic, male-dominated era. This neglect has silenced the voices of women who influenced political, social, and economic developments of the United States as the country advanced into a modern industrialized nation. This study argues for a shift in the labeling scheme in historical academia to create a comprehensive recognition of the significance of women in the Gilded Age. This challenge will be supported by analyzing women’s influence in society, economics, and politics beyond the traditional roles as municipal housekeepers and maternal guardians from 1865-1917.