Abstract

Colonial women did not enjoy more advantages and legal freedoms than their counterparts in England. The approximately 60,000 women who emigrated from England to the colonies between 1630 and 1700 left behind the benefits of a complex, but comprehensive system of English law that protected and served their needs with a level of sophistication that the American courts lacked. While Anglo-American culture remained fundamentally patriarchal throughout the early modern period, in the seventeenth century the English legal system provided women with more varied and robust methods of circumventing the law of coverture than did the colonial legal system.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0895
Print ISSN
1543-4273
Pages
pp. 537-567
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-25
Open Access
No
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