The Rise of Public Woman: Woman's Power and Woman's Place in the United States, 1630-1970 / Edition 1

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In the 1630s, Anne Hutchinson - the wife of a Boston merchant and mother of fifteen children - defied the Calvinist clergy by holding meetings and espousing a controversial religious stance. When asked to stop, she did not, and as a result of her outspokenness, Hutchinson was subjected to two trials, then excommunicated and exiled to upstate New York. For 200 years, Hutchinson was held as the model of an American Jezebel, a female transgressor who threatened the community with social chaos and sexual impropriety. But as The Rise of Public Woman skillfully reveals, what was really on trial was not Anne Hutchinson but the expression of public womanhood. This richly woven history ranges from the 17th century to the present as it masterfully traces the movement of American women out of the home and into the public sphere. Matthews examines the Revolutionary War period, when women exercised political strength through the boycott of household goods and Elizabeth Freeman successfully sued for freedom from enslavement in one of the two cases that ended slavery in Massachusetts. She follows the expansion of the country west, where a developing frontier attracted strong resourceful women, and into the growing cities, where women entered public life through employment in factories and offices. Matthews illuminates the contributions of such outstanding Civil War women as Mary Ann "Mother" Bickerdyke, who supervised a cattle drive down the banks of the Mississippi so that soldiers would have fresh milk; Clara Barton, whose humanitarian work on behalf of the International Red Cross led her to become the first American woman to serve as official representative of the federal government; and SojournerTruth, an impassioned black orator who devoted herself to emancipation. And Matthews brings the narrative through to the 1970s, detailing the growing presence of women in American politics - from the suffrage marches of the early twentieth century, to the courageous stan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195090451
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,068,114
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Glenna Matthews is an Affiliated Scholar with the Beatrice Bain Research Group, University of California, Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
1 Woman's Power and Woman's Place in Seventeenth-Century America 13
2 The Erosion of Patriarchy 32
3 Women and Republicanism 52
4 The Power of the Word 72
5 "Woman's Place" and Public Space, 1800-1860 93
6 Northern Women and the Crisis of the Union 120
7 Public Womanhood and the Incorporation of America 147
8 A Kind of Power: Women and Politics, 1900-1960 172
9 Working-Class Women and Public Activism 196
10 The Rebirth of Feminism 222
Afterword 241
Notes 245
Index 289
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