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Daughters of the Declaration: How Women Social Entrepreneurs Built the American Dream by David Graham Burnett, Claire Gaudiani

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FOUR
Republican Mothers in Action
Next to God, we are indebted to women . . . first for life itself, and then for making it worth living....
—Mary McLeod Bethune
 
 
 
 
Esther Reed laid the foundation for a tradition of female civic leadership in the new nation. Her broad vision for women’s participation in the nation’s business was truly exceptional. Most early social enterprises launched by women were based in their own communities, rather than conceived as national efforts. There was plenty of local need, and the majority of women, particularly those ladies of the middle and upper classes, carried out their Christian duties in a community setting. Such settings offered the opportunity for association by women. They could come together and act ...

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