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Women and the Law of Property in Early America Marylynn Salmon

Women and the Law of Property in Early America

Marylynn Salmon

Published
ISBN : 9780807816875
Hardcover
285 pages
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 About the Book 

In this first comprehensive study of womens property rights in early America, Marylynn Salmon discusses the effect of formal rules of law on womens lives. By focusing on such areas such as conveyancing, contracts, divorce, separate estates, andMoreIn this first comprehensive study of womens property rights in early America, Marylynn Salmon discusses the effect of formal rules of law on womens lives. By focusing on such areas such as conveyancing, contracts, divorce, separate estates, and widows provisions, Salmon presents a full picture of womens legal rights from 1750 to 1830.Salmon shows that the law assumes women would remain dependent and subservient after marriage. She documents the legal rights of women prior to the Revolution and traces a gradual but steady extension of the ability of wives to own and control property during the decades following the Revolution. The forces of change in colonial and early national law were various, but Salmon believes ideological considerations were just as important as economic ones.Women did not all fare equally under the law. In this illuminating survey of the jurisdictions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, Salmon shows regional variations in the law that affected womens autonomous control over property. She demonstrates the importance of understanding the effects of formal law on women s lives in order to analyze the wider social context of womens experience.