A History of Women in America: From Founding Mothers to Feminists-How Women Shaped the Life and Culture of America

3,84 valoración promedio
( 174 valoraciones por Goodreads )
 
9780553269147: A History of Women in America: From Founding Mothers to Feminists-How Women Shaped the Life and Culture of America

From colonial to modern-day times this narrative history, incorporating first-person accounts, traces the development of women's roles in America. Against the backdrop of major historical events and movements, the authors examine the issues that changed the roles and lives of women in our society. Includes photographs.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Carol Hymowitz, born and raised in New York, graduated from Brandeis University and earned her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She is a freelance writer and also works part time for Time magazine.

Michaele Weissman is a native of Belmont, Massachusetts. She studied history at Brandeis University and graduated in 1968. She lives in Manhattan and is employed as a newswriter and producer for WOR radio.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1

Founding Mothers

The fate of the European women who came to the New World in the early days of colonial settlement was a life of nearly ceaseless hard work. Many who came were already accustomed to physical labor. Those who were not quickly adapted. In a totally undeveloped and sparsely populated land, the labor of every able-bodied settler was desperately needed, and women's traditional work--providing food, clothing, shelter, and the rudiments of hygiene--was essential to survival.

The demands of the New World allowed colonial women more freedom "to do" than was often available to women of later generations. This latitude was the product not of ideology, but of necessity. Colonial society did not support the idea of equality between men and women. European men brought with them to America the tenet that woman was man's inferior. This belief in female inferiority, however, was minimized by the conditions of the New World. So long as the colonies remained relatively undeveloped, women enjoyed a limited kind of independence.

Women were an integral part of all permanent settlements in the New World. When men traveled alone to America, they came as fortune hunters, adventurers looking for a pot of gold; such single men had no compelling reason to establish communities. Women acted as civilizers for men living alone in the wilderness. Where there were women, there were children who had to be taught. There was a future--a reason to establish laws, towns, churches, schools. The organizers of Virginia understood as much when they sought to attract women to their colony so that the men who came "might be faster tied to Virginia." The labor provided by a wife and children also helped transform the forest into farmland. In the early days of the Georgia settlement the proprietors advertised for male recruits with "industrious wives."

In many cases women emigrated together with men. Such was the case throughout New England and the middle colonies, where whole families often came in search of religious freedom. Elsewhere, particularly in the South, women had to be lured to America. Some colonies offered women the right to own their own land. Lord Baltimore of Maryland offered 100 acres for a planter, 100 acres for a wife, and 50 for a child. Women heads of families were treated in the same way as men.

Other less conventional methods were used to encourage female emigration. The British crown, which chartered the majority of settlements, allowed women convicts the option of emigrating to the colonies rather than serving out jail sentences at home. Many female prostitutes and thieves settled in the New World rather than submit to the notorious severity of English criminal "justice." (Daniel Defoe's novel Moll Flanders is about such a woman--a London prostitute transported to America--who makes good.) Many of these women convicts were brought as indentured servants; they were obligated to serve a master for a number of years, without wages, before they were allowed their freedom.

Marriage was another inducement that encouraged women to come to the New World. Throughout colonial times men outnumbered women by three to one, or more. Women could be assured of finding husbands in America. One eager publicist for Carolina wrote, "If any maid or single woman have desire to go over, they will think themselves in the Golden Age, when men paid a Dowry for their wives; for if they be but civil, and under 50 years of age, some honest man or other will purchase them for their wives."

In 1619 an enterprising sea captain who had advertised for single women looking to marry transported 144 of them to Virginia. The captain paid for the women's passage and, on arrival, he sold them as "wives" for 120 pounds of fine Virginia tobacco apiece. There are reports of other captains who kidnaped young women off the streets of London rather than going to the trouble of advertising.

Of the 144 women who emigrated to Virginia in 1619 looking for husbands, only 35 were still alive six years later. Conditions in the New World, particularly for the first settlers, did not encourage long life. The months-long sail across the Atlantic was perilous--epidemics often carried off half or more of the passengers. At the end of the journey, there were new dangers to be faced.What is surprising is not the number of women who died early, but the number who survived. The bravery and stamina of the women in colonial times were renowned. William Byrd described one such woman living in a back settlement of Virginia in 1710, saying she was "a very civil" woman who showed "nothing of ruggedness, or immodesty in her carriage, yet she will carry a gun in the woods and kill deer, turkeys, etc., shoot down wild cattle, catch and tye hogs, knock down beeves with an ax and perform the most manful exercises as well as most men in these parts."

The lives of colonial women and men tended to center around farm and family. For the most part a traditional division of labor was observed, whereby men did the outside work--planting and harvesting crops--while women worked inside, transforming the raw products into usable commodities.

All of woman's work on the farm came under the general heading of "housewifery." What it included varied somewhat from region to region. The wives of southern planters rarely did their own weaving and spinning, while in the northern colonies these tasks took up many hours of a woman's day. In the South women tended their own herbal gardens and were expected to be expert at doctoring. White southern women of means were often responsible for the health needs of their slaves as well as those of their own families.

New England houses were small--one or two rooms and a loft. The houses of southern planters were larger and more lavish. The roughest living was on the frontier, where a house was often a one-room shack, sometimes even a lean-to or wigwam. William Byrd, commenting on one of these back-country homes, noted that it contained a dozen adults and children plus the household animals all "pigged lovingly together." Life on the frontier was long on mud, disease, and loneliness, short on the amenities. One historian has called the American frontier a slum with trees.

Despite local variations, women's activities were much the same throughout the colonies. First came supervision of the house. Women swept, scrubbed, laundered, polished. They made their own brooms, soap, polish. They carried water and did the laundry. They made starch. They ironed. They built fires and carried firewood. They made candles. They sewed everything--sheets, clothing, table linen, diapers. Women were usually in charge of the family bookkeeping. They ordered provisions, paid bills, and made sure the books were balanced.

It is virtually impossible for twentieth-century people to imagine the enormous job of food preparation in colonial times. Cooking was done on an open hearth that had to be tended constantly. Kettles, made of iron, often weighed forty pounds. Without refrigeration, meats had to be preserved by salting or pickling.

Rich and spicy sauces were the style, since they were needed to preserve food or to cover the taste of food that had been badly preserved. Women kept their own gardens, every fall putting up vast amounts of home-grown vegetables and fruit. They ran home bakeries and dairies, did the milking, made butter, and kept the hen yard.

Spinning and weaving cloth was another arduous job, involving more than a dozen operations from start to finish. Colonial women were also expected to be expert at knitting, quilting, and all sorts of sewing and embroidery. The following account, taken from the diary of a young colonial woman in 1775, indicates the emphasis placed on spinning, weaving, and needlecrafts. It also highlights the heavy work load colonial women took for granted.

Fixed gown for Prude . . . mended mothers riding hood, spun short thread . . . fix's two gowns for Welsh girls . . . carded, spun linen . . . worked on cheese basket . . . hatched flax with Hannah, we did 51 pounds a piece . . . pleated and ironed, . . . milked cows . . . spun linen . . . did 50 knots . . . made a broom of guineau wheat straw, spun thread to whiten . . . set a red dye, spun harness twine, scoured the pewter.

Colonial women also worked outside the home. In the villages, towns, and small cities of the eighteenth century they performed virtually every kind of job held by men. Women ran taverns, inns, and boarding houses. They were blacksmiths, silversmiths, wheelwrights, sailmakers, tailors, teachers, printers, newspaper publishers, and shopkeepers of every sort.Many women learned their trades from their husbands. A blacksmith, for example, would teach his wife the skill. If a tradeswoman was widowed, she frequently assumed the full responsibility for the business she had built with her husband. Many women acted as their husbands' business agents. Given the power of attorney by their mates, they were involved in all aspects of finance, including bringing debtors to court.That colonial women often participated in various sorts of legal proceedings is indicative of the colonial society's pragmatic approach toward women. Pre-Revolutionary Americans often bent the Common Law system (which in England largely excluded women) to suit their needs. Daniel Boorstin has explained this anomaly by noting that colonial America had no learned monopolies. Or, as William Byrd put it in a letter discussing the attractions of the New World, America was free from "Those three scourges of mankind--priests, lawyers and physicians." In the early days there were no bar associations or medical associations establishing proficiency requirements. In consequence, a woman with aptitude could learn a skill informally and practice a profession.

One of the most interesting women to lead a public life in colonial times was Margaret Brent, often referred to in seventeenth-century records as Mistress Margaret Brent, Spinster. Margaret, her sister Mary, and two brothers emigrated to Maryland from Great Britain in 1638. Lord Baltimore the proprietor of Maryland, attracted the Brents--who were wealthy Catholics--to his colony with promises of large land grants and the chance to live free of anti-Catholic discrimination.

The Brent sisters established their own plantations, which they ran without their brothers' help. In fact, Margaret Brent often acted as her brothers' representative and business adviser. Collecting payment in those days often involving suing in court. Records show Mistress Brent participating in 134 separate court actions during the eight years between 1642 and 1650. She usually won her case.

Brent's close personal friendship with Lord Calvert, Maryland's governor, eventually pushed her into the all-male world of politics. When Calvert lay dying in 1647, he called Brent to his bedside. In the presence of witnesses he made what has been called "perhaps the briefest will in the history of law": "I make you my sole executrix. Take all and pay all." As executrix, Brent assumed responsibility for Calvert's estates. Since Calvert had been granted the power of attorney for his brother, Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of Maryland, at Calvert's death the power of attorney for Lord Baltimore, then in London, fell to Mistress Brent.

At the time Maryland was not a peaceful colony. Calvert's enemies hoped to take advantage of the confusion following his death to seize control, and it seemed for a time that they might succeed. The man Calvert named to the governorship, Thomas Greene, was not equal to the job. After Calvert's death the army was close to revolt; Brent appeased the military by paying the soldiers their long-overdue wages, raising the necessary funds by selling some of Lord Baltimore's cattle. She took other steps as well to stabilize the situation in Maryland. Members of the Assembly later told Lord Baltimore that "all would have gone to ruin" were it not for her actions.

Brent had so far established herself as a major political figure that many in the colony believed that she, not Thomas Greene, ought to be governor. Brent, however, did not seek to unseat Greene. In January 1648 she appeared before the Maryland Assembly and asked for two votes: one as Calvert's executrix, the other as Lord Baltimore's "attorney." It was the first time in parliamentary history that a woman had sought political recognition in a governing body. Governor Greene refused to have Brent seated, and the Assembly acceded to his wishes.

Subsequently Brent left Maryland and moved to Virginia, where she established a new plantation, which she called Peace. She continued throughout her life to be active in business, but she avoided politics.

It seems probable that throughout most of the colonial period more women practiced medicine than did men. Women were nurses, apothecaries, unlicensed physicians, and midwives. Only surgery--which at that time meant performing amputations--was dominated by men. The kind of doctoring women did was often an extension of their work at home. A woman charged with the well-being of a family learned to care for the sick, to treat common illnesses, and to make the aged and the dying comfortable. A woman with particular skill in this area could earn money by caring not only for the members of her family but for others as well.

In the same way a woman who kept an herb garden and had an interest in botany could earn a living making medicines, tonics, and syrups. These women apothecaries varied in their level of sophistication. Though some lacked knowledge beyond folklore, many others were serious scientists who devoted much time to studying the healing properties of plants. Such skill was attested to by a French visitor to Virginia who wrote of Mary Byrd, "She takes great care of her Negroes . . . and serves them herself as a doctor in times of sickness. She had made some interesting discoveries of the disorders incident to them and discovered a very salutary method of treating a sort of putrid fever which carries them off."

There is evidence to indicate that the women who practiced medicine in the 1700s often did a better job than the male professionals of the 1800s. Medicine in the 1700s was very practical and down to earth. Doctoring women focused on relieving the patient's symptoms, while male doctors of the next century were far more concerned with expounding learned--though usually inaccurate--theories concerning the origin of the disease.

The efficacy of the eighteenth-century brand of care was seen in the practice of midwifery, which was the only form of medicine women participated in that was often licensed. Midwives had to serve lengthy apprenticeships before being certified. As apprentices they observed hundreds of deliveries and, for the most part, learned how to let nature take its course. Midwives seem to have taken good care of their female patients and most certainly did less harm than male doctors in the 1800s, many of whom routinely infected their patients with "puerperal sepsis" (childbed fever) by failing to wash their hands.

The women workers described so far were part of colonial America's pool of "free labor." As "free" workers, women had some control over their earnings and over the products of their work. Another sizable class of women workers in colonial America were not "free," however. These were the indentured servants and the slaves.

It is estimated that half the migrants to the colonies came under indenture, and that a third of these were women. Most of the women who came to the New World in this situation were convicts from Great Britain. Women thieves, prostitutes, and vagrants were given the choice of emigrating or of serving lengthy prison terms. Some...

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

Los mejores resultados en AbeBooks

1.

Hymowitz, Carol; Weissman, Michaele
Editorial: Bantam
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos MASS MARKET PAPERBACK Cantidad: > 20
Librería
Walker Bookstore (Mark My Words LLC)
(Tempe, AZ, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Bantam. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0553269143 OVER 150 IN STOCK 10/26/16 WE HAVE NUMEROUS COPIES. PAPERBACK. Light storage wear and handling marks on cover, corners, and edges. School sticker with barcode on back cover. Nº de ref. de la librería Z0553269143ZN

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 2,67
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,39
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

2.

Carol Hymowitz, Michaele Weissman
Editorial: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States (1990)
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
The Book Depository US
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1990. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From colonial to modern-day times this narrative history, incorporating first-person accounts, traces the development of women s roles in America. Against the backdrop of major historical events and movements, the authors examine the issues that changed the roles and lives of women in our society. Includes photographs. Nº de ref. de la librería ABZ9780553269147

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 6,60
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

3.

Hymowitz, Carol
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos Cantidad: > 20
Librería
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción 1984. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería VR-9780553269147

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 3,77
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,39
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

4.

HYMOWITZ, CAROL
Editorial: Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos Cantidad: > 20
Librería
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Penguin Random House. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 0553269143

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 4,57
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 2,97
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

5.

Carol Hymowitz, Michaele Weissman
Editorial: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States (1990)
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos Paperback Cantidad: 1
Librería
The Book Depository
(London, Reino Unido)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 1990. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From colonial to modern-day times this narrative history, incorporating first-person accounts, traces the development of women s roles in America. Against the backdrop of major historical events and movements, the authors examine the issues that changed the roles and lives of women in our society. Includes photographs. Nº de ref. de la librería ABZ9780553269147

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,61
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
De Reino Unido a Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

6.

Hymowitz, Carol
Editorial: Bantam (1984)
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos Mass Market Paperback Cantidad: 2
Librería
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Bantam, 1984. Mass Market Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New!. Nº de ref. de la librería 0553269143

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 5,21
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 2,55
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

7.

Hymowitz, Carol
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos Cantidad: 15
Librería
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción 1984. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IB-9780553269147

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 4,37
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 3,39
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

8.

Hymowitz, Carol
Editorial: Bantam 9/1/1984 (1984)
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos Paperback or Softback Cantidad: 5
Librería
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Bantam 9/1/1984, 1984. Paperback or Softback. Estado de conservación: New. A History of Women in America: From Founding Mothers to Feminists-How Women Shaped the Life and Culture of America. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780553269147

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 7,82
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

9.

Hymowitz, Carol
Editorial: Bantam (1984)
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos Mass Market Paperback Cantidad: 5
Librería
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Bantam, 1984. Mass Market Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería 0553269143

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 6,16
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: EUR 1,69
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

10.

Hymowitz, Carol; Weissman, Michaele
Editorial: Bantam
ISBN 10: 0553269143 ISBN 13: 9780553269147
Nuevos MASS MARKET PAPERBACK Cantidad: 1
Librería
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, Estados Unidos de America)
Valoración
[?]

Descripción Bantam. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0553269143. Nº de ref. de la librería Z0553269143ZN

Más información sobre esta librería | Hacer una pregunta a la librería

Comprar nuevo
EUR 8,61
Convertir moneda

Añadir al carrito

Gastos de envío: GRATIS
A Estados Unidos de America
Destinos, gastos y plazos de envío

Existen otras copia(s) de este libro

Ver todos los resultados de su búsqueda