The transition from Dutch to English law: its impact on women in New York, 1643 to 1727

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


Stephen Saunders Webb


Dutch law, English law, New York

Subject Categories

Education Policy | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


Much has been written within the past decade about the present lack of economic, political and social rights for American women. Many writers dealing with the topic trace this problem back to the common law in England which considered women minors--protected and directed by their husbands once they left the guardianship of their fathers...

Despite similarities of religion and culture between the Netherlands and England--Dutch Calvinism and English Puritanism alike degraded women--the legal treatment of Dutch women was more favorable than that of English women because of the Roman-Dutch law...

The three Dutch women this study focuses on demonstrate what able persons made of legal privilege in New Amsterdam and New York...


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