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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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Old Ways and New

Old Ways and New

(p.56) 2 Old Ways and New
Revolutionary Conceptions

Susan E. Klepp

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter traces the religious, political, and economic realities that had long supported large families and high fertility. It looks, too, at the religious and economic changes in the eighteenth century that began to undermine the old ways of thinking and behaving. From the very beginning of European exploration, proprietors and entrepreneurs enticed settlers to the Middle Atlantic region by touting the fertility of the land; it was, for example, “very good and fruitfull and withall very healthfull.” Plentiful, flourishing land was made redolent of an expansive abundance in all facets of life. Promotional tracts generally targeted men, but several enticed women to cross the ocean.

Keywords:   economic realities, high fertility, large families, old ways, European exploration

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