CCS Book Club May 16

CCS Book Club May 16

Center for Constitutional Studies Book Club

The American founders framed a republic reliant on citizens both knowing our constitutional system and feeling a responsibility to engage in civic life.

To promote and enrich understanding about our constitutional republic and inspire healthy civic participation, the Center for Constitutional Studies (CCS) at Utah Valley University (UVU) hosts a community book club several times during the year.

Meeting every few months and open to all, these constitutional conversations are facilitated by a faculty or staff member from CCS.

Details of May 16 Session

  • Book  |  Revolutionary Mothers   |  Carol Berkin
  • Thursday, May 16, 2024, noon to 1:15 p.m.
  • UVU Fulton Library (FL) 120.
  • See photos of the event
  • Watch the recording on YouTube
  • Box lunch provided for in-person attendees (RSVP required).
  • The American Revolution was a home-front war that brought scarcity, bloodshed, and danger into the life of every American. In this book, Carol Berkin shows how women played a vital role throughout the conflict.
  • The women of the Revolution were most active at home, organizing boycotts of British goods, raising funds for the fledgling nation, and managing the family business while struggling to maintain a modicum of normalcy as husbands, brothers and fathers died.
  • Conversation facilitated by Eleesha Tucker, Constitutional Literacy Fellow, Center for Constitutional Studies at Utah Valley University.

Discussion Questions

  • How have women in the American Revolution been remembered? How does the author want to present their roles?
  • What were women's statuses in eighteenth-century colonial society and their roles in the family, the household, and society? Was there any flexibility in what women might be expected to do?
  • How were women drawn into the politics of protest against Parliament and King George III? How did they participate? How did others view their activities?
  • How did outbreak of war affect women? How did shortages and men's absences affect them? How did violence and cruelty affect them? How could women fight back?
  • What was women's contribution to the Patriot cause?
  • How did these various women experience wartime?
    • Women who followed the Army
    • Officers' wives
    • Women in Native American tribes
    • Enslaved women
  • What was the postwar debate on the woman question? How had attitudes toward women changed because of the ideas of the American Revolution? What were the new responsibilities of what came to be known as Republican Motherhood?

CCS Lyceum with Verlan Lewis

Inspiration for CCS Book Club

Book clubs were a fixture of civic life for colonial Americans. For example, on a ship bound for the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, reformer Anne Hutchinson organized a female discussion group to examine weekly sermons.

In 1727, Benjamin Franklin founded the Junto Club, whose members pooled their books to create a library where they could meet weekly to discuss them in light of the issues of the day.

Hannah Mather Crocker organized a female reading society in Boston in 1778 to study science and read the belles lettres, or the salient literary works available at the time.

In that same spirit of discussion and learning that abounded in the founding era, the CCS Book Club seeks to bring people and books together to better understand and appreciate the threads of history, philosophy, government, and citizenship woven into the national fabric and what they call us to do today.