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Revolutionary ConceptionsWomen, Fertility, and Family Limitation in America, 1760-1820$
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Susan E. Klepp

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833223

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807838716_Klepp

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Starting, Spacing, and Stopping

Starting, Spacing, and Stopping

The Statistics of Birth and Family Size

(p.21) 1 Starting, Spacing, and Stopping
Revolutionary Conceptions

Susan E. Klepp

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter is an overview of the changes in experiences of married free women and enslaved women. It compares existing statistical studies of fertility and adds several new analyses, particularly for African Americans. Residential, social, religious, and ethnic differences in fertility are explored. Statistics measure behavior, however, not meaning. The chapter also focuses on Dr. Benjamin Rush, a staunch supporter of the Revolution, who asserts, “The population in the United States was more rapid from births during the war, than it had ever been.” This increase was not natural, but was due to the “quantity and extensive circulation of money, and to the facility of procuring the means of subsistence during the war.”

Keywords:   married free women, enslaved women, statistical studies, fertility, African Americans

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