Belonging to the World surveys the treatment of women in American law from the nation's earliest beginnings in British North America to the present. An original work of historical synthesis, the book aims to build bridges between fields long thought to be unbridgeable -- among them, the history of women, American constitutional and legal history, political theory, and law. It delineates the shifting relationships between American law practice and women, both within the family and elsewhere, as it looks beyond the campaign for women's suffrage to broader zones of contest and controversy. Women's stories and voices are used throughout to drive home the extraordinary range and persistence of female rebellion since the 1630s -- when Anne Hutchinson and Ann Hibbens decided to oppose forces of constraint in colonial New England -- to the present era of "post-feminist" retrenchment and backlash. As the narrative documents women's ongoing battles for such rights have been governed differently from men, often out of the state's line of vision, and that much of this difference reflected the survival of a unitary monarchical "head" in the constitutional and moral economy of households. Excellent for use in constitutional law and women's studies classes.