Instructions: Given what you have read thus far on women’s political status in Early America, compose a 5-7 page essay (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12pt. Times New Roman font) that addresses the following question. In order to be eligible for full credit, your essay must present and develop an argument which incorporates at least four of the secondary readings (chapters or articles) and/or primary sources (from Woloch) assigned after 6/9 and up to 6/27, must follow proper citation procedures, and must be submitted both electronically via Turnitin AND in the “Paper 2 Assignment” folder in the Week 5 folder in the Content section of Blackboard by 11:59PM Eastern Time, Friday, June 27. In addition to citing examples from primary and secondary source readings, in order to prove your points you should also feel free to use information gleaned from lecture notes and/or PowerPoint. Please do not use any outside sources.

Question: Until relatively recently, historical studies of early American political history have largely ignored women. Subscribing as most did to a narrow, rigid definition of “political,” the central players in those accounts tended to be men who inhabited the “public sphere” or work and politics. Women, by contrast, because they did not vote or hold office, were believed not to be politically interested or involved in American politics. In the last decade or two, this assumption has been challenged on multiple fronts resulting in a fruitful reconsideration of women’s political activism and identity. Examine this recent historiographical trend. How has this scholarship forced a reconsideration of key developments and events in American history? What has been the impact? As with some “corrections,” have historians have gone “too far,” stretching the definition of “political” to a point where it is no longer useful or recognizable to students of American history?

*Key: When answering this question, be sure to make an argument (ie: historians have/historians have not gone “too far” in stretching the definition of “political”) and provide ample evidence to prove your argument. Because this question is more histroriographically driven, it should first discuss the way historians have written women’s history and have used a broader definition of “politics” to find a way to incorporate women. It should also include an argument for whether or not this is problematic/useful and why. Please use the “tips for writing effective papers” handout while writing your essays!


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