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Women's Rights in the United States

A History in Documents

Anne M. Boylan

Publication Date - 30 July 2015

ISBN: 9780195338294

292 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

The first history of women's rights to cover the topic from the earliest days of European colonization through the beginning of the 21st century


Women's Rights in the United States: A History in Documents uses a diverse collection of documents--including manifestoes, letters, diaries, cartoons, broadsides, legal and court records, poems, satires, advertisements, petitions, photographs, leaflets, maps, posters, autobiographies, and newspapers--to examine major themes in the history of women's rights and women's rights movements in the U.S. The documents encompass the experiences of women from a wide range of racial, ethnic, class, economic, sexual, marital, and social groups. The book covers such topics as organized social movements; changing definitions of rights and different women's access to rights; divisions among women within women's rights movements; global contexts for women's rights activism; and the question of what it means for women and men to be "equal." Each chapter includes an introductory essay, and each document has a headnote or long caption. A picture essay illuminates how both suffragists and anti-suffragists employed cartooning to articulate their political positions.

About the Author(s)

Anne M. Boylan is Professor of History and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Delaware. She is the author of The Origins of Women's Activism: New York and Boston, 1797-1840 (2002) and Sunday School: The Formation of An American Institution, 1790-1880 (1988).

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1: Law & Custom in the Colonies
    Economic and Political Rights
    Regulating Marriage, Divorce, and Sexuality
    Religion and Education

    Chapter 2: Revolutionary Ideals and Realities
    Women in Wartime
    Women of the Republic: Debates over Women's Rights and Equality
    What Difference did the Revolution Make?

    Chapter 3: Women's Rights Movements
    Discussing/Debating Women's Rights
    The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 in Context
    Women's Rights Movements
    Gender, Race, and Rights in the Era of Civil War & Reconstruction

    Chapter 4: Suffrage and Women's Rights
    Seeking Rights: Economic, Educational, Personal
    The Suffrage Effort: New Allies, New Alliances, New Strategies
    New Women
    Suffrage-Winning Strategies

    Chapter 5: Cartooning for and against Suffrage

    Chapter 6: Women's Citizenship in the Post-Suffrage Era
    The Meanings of Citizenship
    The Equality Debates
    Feminists, Flappers, and their Foes
    Women's Rights in an Era of Economic Depression

    Chapter 7: The Personal is Political
    Women's Rights in the Eras of Wartime and the "Feminine Mystique"
    Feminism: Women's Rights
    Feminism: Women's Liberation

    Chapter 8: Women's Rights after 1970
    "Sisterhood" and its Challengers
    Naming Wrongs, Seeking Rights
    "Equality of Rights under the Law": The ERA Revived
    Global Connections

    Further Reading

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