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Women in Early America

Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World

Women in Early America by Dorothy A. Mays
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This volume fills a gap in traditional women's history books by offering fascinating details of the lives of early American women and showing how these women adapted to the challenges of daily life in the Colonies. The women of early America were not fighting for equal rights-they were struggling for basic survival. Women's contributions enabled settlements to flourish; homes, crops, government, and education were established in the early years of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where there were about as many women as men.

Women in Early America: Struggle, Survival, and Freedom in a New World provides insight into an era in American history when women had immense responsibilities and unusual freedoms. These women worked in a range of occupations such as tavern keeping, printing, spiritual leadership, trading, and shop keeping. Pipe smoking, beer drinking, and premarital sex were widespread. One of every eight people traveling with the Army during the American Revolution was a woman. The coverage begins with the 1607 settlement at Jamestown and ends with the War of 1812. In addition to the role of Anglo-American women, the experiences of African, French, Dutch, and Native American women settlers are discussed. The issues discussed include how women coped with rural isolation, why they were prone to superstitions, who was likely to give birth out of wedlock, and how they raised large families while coping with immense household responsibilities.

ABC-CLIO; November 2004
518 pages; ISBN 9781851094349
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Title: Women in Early America
Author: Dorothy A. Mays