This volume presents a study of six notable reformers, illuminating the connections between the gradual transformation of reform strategies over the course of the 19th century and the political ideas of the reformers themselves. The author argues that American women's political thought evolved from an emphasis on reform through moral persuasion and local control into an endorsement of expanded federal power and a strong central state. This book reveals Fanny Wright, Sarah Grimké, Angelina Grimké Weld, Frances Watkins Harper, Frances Willard, and Mary Church Terrell to be political thinkers who were engaged in re-conceptualizing the relationship between the state and its citizens.
Introduction -- Frances Wright : moral suasion and states' rights -- Sarah and Angelina Grimké : women's political engagement -- Frances Watkins Harper : civil rights and the role of the state -- Frances Willard : federal regulations for the common good -- Mary Church Terrell : critiques of "White lawlessness" -- Conclusion
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