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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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Conclusion Fertility and the Feminine in Early America

Conclusion Fertility and the Feminine in Early America

(p.272) Conclusion Fertility and the Feminine in Early America
Revolutionary Conceptions

Susan E. Klepp

University of North Carolina Press

This book concludes by highlighting some of its findings and tracing a few of the continuities and discontinuities in Americans' conceptions of family planning, birth control, and gender from the early nation to the present. The adoption of family limitation was revolutionary: a sudden, sharp break with a long tradition of promoting high fertility within marriage. There could be no halfway measures. Starting in the swirl of revolutionary assertions of inalienable rights, individualism, foresight, and independence, wives or couples either quantified their ideal family size, or they did not. They favored restraint, or they continued to celebrate abundance and redundancy. Couples anticipated the future and carefully invested to secure the best possible outcome for each child, or they accepted the decrees of fate, whatever those might be.

Keywords:   family planning, birth control, gender, family limitation, high fertility

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