Originally published in 1974, this study offers valuable perspectives on the status and roles of women in Stuart England and in the newly settled colonies of North America, particularly Massachusetts and Virginia. Incorporating both new research on the subject, and the findings of other scholars on demographic and social history, the author examines the effects of sex ratios, economic opportunities, Puritanism and frontier conditions on the emancipation of American women in comparison with their English counterparts. He discusses the effects of these major differences on women’s roles in courtship, marriage and the family, educational, legal and civic opportunities. In the final chapter, he compares the moral climate of the two cultures in the latter part of the seventeenth century.
Preface Part 1: Introduction 1. The Seventeenth-Century Scene Part 2: A New World 2. The Sex Ratio 3. Economic Opportunities 4. Women and the Puritan Churches 5. Women and the Frontier Part 3: Cultural Contrasts 6. Courtship and Marriage 7. The Family 8. Women’s Legal Position and Rights 9. Women’s Education in England and the Colonies 10. The Vote 11. The Moral Tone of Society. Epilogue