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This article explores the early American republic's newfound attention to and support for the education of women. In the decades immediately following the American Revolution, advocates began to assert that the education of women was of the "utmost importance" to the young nation. The education of women was part of a larger experiment, a means of assuring social and political stability during the critical years of nation building. To explore these themes, this article examines the intellectual world of early national women, as expressed both in the prescriptive aspirations of educators and academies, as well as in the experiences and reflections of educated women.