In The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884), Friedrich Engels posited a fundamental relationship between women’s property rights, on the one hand, and changes in the social and political spheres, on the other.
Amy Froide’s book is an excellent addition to the work on early modern women done by researchers such as Amy Louise Erickson. In fact, it was Amy Erickson who first drew my attention to this book even before I was asked to review it. It does not disappoint. Amy Erickson, Ann Carlos, Larry Neal, Anne Murphy and others have shown that women were a part of the Financial Revolution.
It is an ambitious book that would try to cover the Conquest of Mexico, the rise and fall of the country’s hacienda system, the emergence of the Virgen de Guadalupe, the intricacies of Emiliano Zapata’s role in the Mexican Revolution, and the exodus of women from rural regions in the mid-1960s to look for work as ‘household help’ in the nation’s fast-growing capital city.
Students of history are not always aware when they live through major historiographic change; shifts are sometimes only recognizable in hindsight, with accumulated divergences sharply evident against the backdrop of the field.