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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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Women's Words

Women's Words

(p.88) 3 Women's Words
Revolutionary Conceptions

Susan E. Klepp

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on revolutionary-era women's innovative recasting of the meanings of femininity, fertility, family, and the future. These new ideals were communicated to friends and daughters at the same time that Americans, both men and women, renounced slavery for themselves and proclaimed their independence from Great Britain. The American Revolution, as an intellectual, social, and cultural phenomenon, began with protests in 1764 and lasted at least through the political debates of the 1790s. Revolutionary challenges to the status quo were reinforced by news and refugees from subsequent revolutions in France, Haiti, and South America. Colonial grumbling about “hard Times, heavy Taxes, and chargeable Families” soon gave way to protests. Issues of tyranny, slavery, liberty, and individual pursuits of happiness were raised and debated in the street and in print.

Keywords:   revolutionary-era women, femininity, fertility, family, slavery, American Revolution

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