This illustrated encyclopedia examines the unique influence and contributions of women in every era of American history, from the colonial period to the present. It not only covers the issues that have had an impact on women, but also traces the influence of women's achievements on society as a whole. Divided into three chronologically arranged volumes, the set includes historical surveys and thematic essays on central issues and political changes affecting women's lives during each period. These are followed by A-Z entries on significant events and social movements, laws, court cases and more, as well as profiles of notable American women from all walks of life and all fields of endeavor. Primary sources and original documents are included throughout.