Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 20
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, almost nothing was written about the
contributions of women during the colonial period and the early history of the newly
formed United States. Lacking the right to vote and absent from the seats of power, women
were not considered an important force in history. Anne Bradstreet wrote some significant
(5) poetry in the seventeenth century, Mercy Otis Warren produced the best contemporary
history of the American Revolution, and Abigail Adams penned important letters showing
she exercised great political influence over her husband, John, the second President of the
United States. But little or no notice was taken of these contributions. During these
centuries, women remained invisible in history books.
(10) Throughout the nineteenth century, this lack of visibility continued, despite the efforts
of female authors writing about women. These writers, like most of their male counterparts,
were amateur historians. Their writings were celebratory in nature, and they were uncritical
in their selection and use of sources.
During the nineteenth century, however, certain feminists showed a keen sense of
(15) history by keeping records of activities in which women were engaged. National, regional,
and local women’s organizations compiled accounts of their doings. Personal
correspondence, newspaper clippings, and souvenirs were saved and stored. These sources
from the core of the two greatest collections of women’s history in the United States one at
the Elizabeth and Arthur Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, and the other the Sophia
(20) Smith Collection at Smith College. Such sources have provided valuable materials for later
Generations of historians.
Despite the gathering of more information about ordinary women during the nineteenth
Century, most of the writing about women conformed to the “great women” theory of
History, just as much of mainstream American history concentrated on “great men.” To
(25) demonstrate that women were making significant contributions to American life, female
authors singled out women leaders and wrote biographies, or else important women
produced their autobiographies. Most of these leaders were involved in public life as
reformers, activists working for women’s right to vote, or authors, and were not
representative at all of the great of ordinary woman. The lives of ordinary people
(30) continued, generally, to be untold in the American histories being published.
Reading Comprehension 20
The “great women” approach to history used by American historians
The place of American women in written histories
The keen sense of history shown by American women
The role of literature in early American histories
written at that time
even the contributions of outstanding women were ignored
only three women were able to get their writing published
a woman’s status was changed by marriage
poetry produced by women was more readily accepted than other writing by women
related to parties
full of praise
They were printed on poor-quality paper.
The sources of the information they were based on were not necessarily accurate.
They put too much emphasis on daily activities
They left out discussion of the influence of money on politics.
Newspaper accounts of presidential election results
Biographies of John Adams
Letters from a mother to a daughter advising her how to handle a family problem
Books about famous graduates of the country’s first college
They were combined and published in a multivolume encyclopedia
They were shared among women’s colleges throughout the United States.
They formed the basis of college courses in the nineteenth century.
They provided valuable information for twentieth—century historical researchers.
activists for women’s rights