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    Overview of Female Oppression in Early America

    Number of Pages: 3


    Summary of the research paper:

    This is a 3 page paper that provides an overview of the oppression of women in early America. Key points are taken from Zinn's text, "History is a Weapon". Bibliography lists 1 source.

    Name of Research Paper File: KW60_KFhis086.doc

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    one that was oppressed and destroyed. Consequently, it is often favorable to adopt a dialectical view of history that attempts to look beyond the mainstream interpretations of history, and explain  historical issues from the perspective not of the ruling class, but of those individuals who were oppressed or disenfranchised. In this way, a more truthful image of history will begin  to emerge. This is the approach taken in Zinns book, "History is a Weapon". This chapter will provide a summary of the key points of Zinns chapter, "The Intimately Oppressed",  which chronicles the unfortunate position of women throughout much of American history, up to the middle of the 19th century. While one might tend to think of older cultures  as being inherently patriarchal and oppressive to women, it is important to note that this has not always been the case. This is especially true when one looks outside Western  societies. For instance, the Zuni and Sioux tribes both honored and respected womens position in society, and women routinely owned property and had some influence in tribal decisions and governance;  rights that would not be afforded to women in "civilized" Western culture for several hundred years (Zinn 2012). Having established that women were not always inherently oppressed around the  world, a fair question arises: what is it about Western civilizations, especially that of early America, that led to women taking such a secondary position in society? One might argue  that the early American settlements were actually created with this arrangement from the ground up. The earliest settlements were founded almost exclusively by men, and those women who did arrive  at said settlements were typically those who arrived on slave ships, "imported as sex slaves, childbearers, companions", and so on (Zinn, 2012). They would enter into marriage arrangements with the 

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