In colonial America, when a woman married she became almost entirely dependent on her husband through the principle of coverture. In this lesson, students will examine primary sources that illustrate the extent to which women’s social and legal position adhered to this principle of coverture. Using Abigail Adams’s famous letter in which she implored her husband, John, to “remember the ladies,” students will analyze women’s social and legal status and discuss how women challenged the system leading up to the American Revolution.

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