Every month, Paul Chase in the Penn Press Journals department invites our blog readers to download a complimentary article from one of our many scholarly journals.
"Historians are taking a fresh look at life and work in early American cities," writes Main. "They have long appreciated the vital economic and cultural roles played by cities through the ages. It is only recently, however, that they have discovered that we cannot understand how those cities actually functioned without taking into account the economic contributions of ordinary women and children, bound and free."
Main's article will appear in the upcoming Fall issue of the Journal of the Early Republic. Here's an excerpt from the abstract:
Women performed critical functions in the economies of early American cities, but female members of all classes found themselves disadvantaged by both the law and the market, where coverture, marginal jobs, and low wages forced their dependency on men. Yet, even when fully employed, men of the “working poor” did not earn enough to support their families. As a result, most poor families relied on the earnings of mothers and children to get by.
Click here to download this free article and learn more about the Journal of the Early Republic.
Check the Penn Press Log in September for Paul's next pick.