Written in 1954 and published in 1981, this fascinating study remains authoritative as an account of a body of opinion about women’s nature and role that was in vogue in America during the first half-century after independence. Combining intellectual and social history, this work was one of numerous attempts being made at the time to add depth to American social history dealing with women and women’s experiences before feminism. The author explores British sources of American thought as well, presenting an early comparative history, and offers a focus on religion to show how processes of change to ideas about women occurred.
Introduction: Recollections of a Veteran in Women’s History Preface 1. Colonial Theory and Practice 2. The Revolutionary Era and Women’s Rights, 1776-1800 3. The Religious Revival and the New Conservatism: Marriage and the Home, 1800-1825 4. Charity Work and Education, 1800-1825 5. The Rise of the Woman Author. Conclusion