The Limits of Independence: American Women 1760- 1800

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The second half of the 18th century saw a handful of English colonies transform themselves into a nation. This process involved not only a revolution against the British crown but also the uniting of a diverse population; in addition to the English who made up the bulk of the population, Africans and continental Europeans joined in the creation of the new republic. Although tradition dictated that the independent male citizen was the most important actor in this drama, political leaders soon learned that the ...
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Overview


The second half of the 18th century saw a handful of English colonies transform themselves into a nation. This process involved not only a revolution against the British crown but also the uniting of a diverse population; in addition to the English who made up the bulk of the population, Africans and continental Europeans joined in the creation of the new republic. Although tradition dictated that the independent male citizen was the most important actor in this drama, political leaders soon learned that the support of women was essential to the success of a republican form of government. Salmon demonstrates the new directions in women's lives, including reforms in education, that occurred during this era of experimentation. She also delineates the ways in which women's lives remained constrained by the racial and cultural assumptions of the age, for while white women's horizons expanded, Native American women and women of African descent suffered greatly.
Educator Judith Sargent Murray, poet Phillis Wheatley, writer and educator Susanna Rowson (who wrote Charlotte Temple, the first American best-seller), and other women--both well-known and unsung--fill the pages of The Limits of Independence, which looks at women's lives during the time of the American Revolution.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Ideal for class discussions, this volume will be useful for reports and leisure reading. It may even have the power to make history bugs of heretofore uninterested students."--School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Illustrated with current, often moving, photographs of working children from around the world, this nine-section book defines child and child labor, explores the whys and wheres, the kinds of work children do, children's rights, and ways children might become activists. The book discusses all kinds of child labor, from exploited rug weavers in Pakistan and Nepal, to migrant workers in the US, and "sex workers" throughout the world. Most examples are chosen from "Third World" countries; other North American examples include statements from a Canadian sex worker and a fast food worker; few US examples are given. Numerous teenagers are profiled, many in their own words giving a picture of what it is like to work under unfair, unfree, un-unionized, or other conditions. The book makes a distinction between children or teenagers working in non-exploitive conditions or within a home or neighborhood and those in virtual bondage to their crafts. Numerous charts present statistics in clear graphics. The ending chapters lay out the dangerous working conditions of various types of work and the possible effects on children, children's rights, and some things being done to call attention to child labor abuses. Well-intentioned, this treatment of a troubling topic may not find an easy place in the curriculum. Middle school and highschool libraries with a demand for international studies books,however, will find this a useful treatment of a global problem. Index, related readings, and a glossary are included. l997. Groundwood, Ages 12-up, $16.95. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Marylynn Salmon is the author of Women and the Law of Property in Early America and co-author of Inheritance in America: From Colonial Times to the Present. Dr. Salmon is a research associate in the history department at Smith College.

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