AP US History
TOP TEN TERMS:
THE CULT OF DOMESTICITY
Preparing for the AP US History Exam
The Cult of Domesticity is one of the ten most frequently tested terms on the APUSH exam. The earlier ideal of republican motherhood gradually evolved into a new cultural model known as the CULT OF DOMESTICITY. This set of beliefs idealized women in their roles as wives and mothers. As nurturing mothers and as faithful companions, the wife created a home that was a “haven in a hostile world.” It is important to remember that the CULT OF DOMESTICITY embodied a cultural ideal that best applied to upper-and middle-class families that could afford to maintain separate spheres for their work and home lives. However, a wide gap separated these privileged groups from the mill women working in factories, the frontier women working on isolated farms, and the enslaved women working on cotton plantations.