320 � JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Summer 2015) republic, elite white men still retained ‘‘their sexual privilege,’’ if ‘‘not their sexual power’’ over women, white and black (201). Massachusetts is an inspired choice for this type of study. Though it did not boast the non-white population of the South, Massachusetts had the greatest number of enslaved persons of any the New England colo- nies. Moreover, as Ryan demonstrates, colonial and early national elites still enacted laws that promoted white supremacy even without the prev- alence of plantation slavery within their borders. In this sense, Regulat- ing Passion makes for a ﬁne northern counterpart to similar works analyzing race and gender in the southern colonies, such as Kathleen Brown’s Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs (Chapel Hill, NC, 1996). Ryan’s wealth of archival evidence suggests historians should perhaps ‘‘take a bleaker view of the progress of the American Revolution . . . because the revolution against patriarchal rule was incomplete’’ (5). Even when white women and people of color challenged sexual double stan- dards, they were forced to do so ‘‘within a patriarchal paradigm. Thus their claims for equity ultimately further embedded patriarchal ideals into New England’s culture’’
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Apr 29, 2015
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