Belonging to the World: Women's Rights and American Constitutional Culture (Bicentennial Essays on the Bill of Rights)

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Belonging to the World: Women's Rights and American Constitutional Culture surveys the treatment of women in American law from the nation's earliest beginnings in British North America to the present. Placing the legal history of women in the broader social, political, and economic context of American history, this book examines the evolution of women's constitutional status in the United States, the development of rights consciousness among women, and their attempts to expand zones of freedom for all women. This is the first general account of women and American constitutional history to include the voices of women alongside the more familiar voices of lawmakers. An original work of historical synthesis, it delineates the shifting relationships between American law practice and women, both within the family and elsewhere, as it looks beyond the campaign for woman suffrage to broader areas of contest and controversy. Women's stories are used throughout the book to illustrate the extraordinary range and persistence of female rebellion from the 1630s up through the present era of "post-feminist" retrenchment and backlash. Belonging to the World: Women's Rights and American Constitutional Culture dispels the myth that the story of women and the law is synonymous only with woman suffrage or married women's property acts, showing instead that American women have struggled along many fronts, not only to regain and expand their rights as sovereign citizens, but also to remake American culture.

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About the Author:

Sandra F. VanBurkleo is at Wayne State University.

Review:

"Sandra VanBurkleo's magisterial analysis of women and the law is a brilliant book that will reshape the familiar narrative of American history. A powerfully written, subtle analysis of the gendered dimensions of American legal and constitutional traditions, "Belonging to the World" makes
complex legal analysis clear and accessible; it is rich in wit and wisdom."--Linda K. Kerber, University of Iowa

"Beautifully written, broad in conception and full of scintillating insights, this book is sure to become the standard history of women's rights in America. A treasure for anyone who wants to know the story of women's place in American society."--Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State
University

"Sandra F. VanBurkleo executes brilliantly the difficult task of synthesizing the history of women's quest for liberty in the United States...VanBurkleo deftly ties together constitutional developments with women's history." - - American Historical Review

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9780195069716: Belonging to the World: Women's Rights and American Constitutional Culture (Bicentennial Essays on the Bill of Rights)

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