This chapter focuses on both those Americans who resisted or did not fully adopt family limitation strategies, or who employed those new ideas in defense of old hierarchies. The events of the late eighteenth century were social as well as political upheavals and caused Americans to reassess old habits of mind and to consider new ideas. Independence and a rejection of “slavish” behaviors had challenged and begun to undermine inherited rigid social ranks and roles for women as well as for men. The revolutionary moment was not always supported, nor could enthusiasm for change always be sustained. New Jersey had been the only state to grant single or widowed property-owning women the vote, an experiment that ended in 1807.
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