Executing Race: Early American Women's Narratives of Race, Society, and the Law

Sampul Depan
Ohio State University Press, 2005 - 240 halaman
Executing Race examines the multiple ways in which race, class, and the law impacted women's lives in the 18th century and, equally important, the ways in which women sought to change legal and cultural attitudes in this volatile period. Through an examination of infanticide cases, Harris reveals how conceptualizations of women, especially their bodies and their legal rights, evolved over the course of the 18th century. Early in the century, infanticide cases incorporated the rhetoric of the witch trials. However, at mid-century, a few women, especially African American women, began to challenge definitions of "bastardy" (a legal requirement for infanticide), and by the end of the century, women were rarely executed for this crime as the new nation reconsidered illegitimacy in relation to its own struggle to establish political legitimacy. Against this background of legal domination of women's lives, Harris exposes the ways in which women writers and activists negotiated legal territory to invoke their voices into the radically changing legal discourse.

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Halaman 15 - Vices the most notorious seem to be the portion of this unhappy race: idleness, treachery, revenge, cruelty, impudence, stealing, lying, profanity, debauchery, nastiness and intemperance, are said to have extinguished the principles of natural law, and to have silenced the reproofs of conscience.
Halaman 20 - ... children are their own, and that their natural instinct is not directed to a wrong object, when they give a loose to love and tenderness. Now if we examine the structure of the human body, we shall find, that this security is very difficult to be...

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