The Gendering of American Politics: Founding Mothers, Founding Fathers, and Political Patriarchy

By Mark E. Kann | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
Founding Fathers and Founding Mothers

The Declaration of Independence expressed the American founders' belief that "all men" were born free and equal and could be governed only with their own consent. Did that mean that women were not born free and equal, and could be governed without their own consent? Did "all men" refer to all biological males or mainly to those males who measured up to contemporary standards of manhood? The founders' answers to these questions cemented gender bias into the foundation of American politics.

The American founders consisted of several generations of in- tellectuals, opinio makers, political activists, and public leaders. They were writers, orators, agitators, layers, ministers, magistrates, and statesmen who promoted protests against the British Parliament in the 1760s, led the struggle for independence in the 1770s, debated the merits of the U.S. Constitution in the 1780s, and then lauched a new national government in the 1790s. They were mainly men--such as James Otis, Jr., Benjamin Franklin, Thomas jefferson, John Adams, George Washington, and other lesser known figures. Some founders were women. Annis Boudinot Stockton, Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis

-xi-

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The Gendering of American Politics: Founding Mothers, Founding Fathers, and Political Patriarchy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction - Founding Fathers and Founding Mothers xi
  • PART ONE Remember the Ladies 1
  • CHAPTER 1 - Women's Exclusion from Politics 22
  • CHAPTER 2 - The Case for Women's Inclusion 45
  • CHAPTER 3 - The Doctrine of Republican Womanhood 64
  • PART TWO - The Ranks of Men 69
  • CHAPTER 4 - Disorderly Men 89
  • CHAPTER 5 - A Small Governing Elite 110
  • CHAPTER 6 - Weak Citizens and Gentleman Legislators 134
  • Conclusion - The Founder's Legacy 137
  • Chapter 7 - America's Gendered Politics 139
  • Notes 165
  • Bibliography 183
  • Index 191
  • About the Author 195
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