Female Education

Denied participation in public life and the full rights of citizenship, academic pursuits for women of the colonial and new republic eras were often considered unnecessary and self-indulgent. Using the Enlightenment ideal of a woman’s sphere of influence, and sustained by the idea that success of the republican experiment demanded a well-educated citizenry, women created one for themselves; a consensus developed around the idea that a mother committed to the service of her family and to the state might serve a political purpose by raising a patriotic child and guiding them on the paths of morality and virtue.