Revolutionary Backlash

Author: Rosemarie Zagarri
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812205553
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The Seneca Falls Convention is typically seen as the beginning of the first women's rights movement in the United States. Revolutionary Backlash argues otherwise. According to Rosemarie Zagarri, the debate over women's rights began not in the decades prior to 1848 but during the American Revolution itself. Integrating the approaches of women's historians and political historians, this book explores changes in women's status that occurred from the time of the American Revolution until the election of Andrew Jackson. Although the period after the Revolution produced no collective movement for women's rights, women built on precedents established during the Revolution and gained an informal foothold in party politics and male electoral activities. Federalists and Jeffersonians vied for women's allegiance and sought their support in times of national crisis. Women, in turn, attended rallies, organized political activities, and voiced their opinions on the issues of the day. After the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, a widespread debate about the nature of women's rights ensued. The state of New Jersey attempted a bold experiment: for a brief time, women there voted on the same terms as men. Yet as Rosemarie Zagarri argues in Revolutionary Backlash, this opening for women soon closed. By 1828, women's politicization was seen more as a liability than as a strength, contributing to a divisive political climate that repeatedly brought the country to the brink of civil war. The increasing sophistication of party organizations and triumph of universal suffrage for white males marginalized those who could not vote, especially women. Yet all was not lost. Women had already begun to participate in charitable movements, benevolent societies, and social reform organizations. Through these organizations, women found another way to practice politics.

Revolutionary Backlash

Author: Rosemarie Zagarri
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812240276
Format: PDF, Docs
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Argues that the debate over women's rights began not with the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, but rather during the American Revolution itself, assessing changes in women's status from the Revolutionary War to the election of Andrew Jackson and how women built upon the precedents established during the Revolution to gain an informal role in party politics and male electoral activities.

Parades and the Politics of the Street

Author: Simon P. Newman
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812200470
Format: PDF, Docs
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Simon P. Newman vividly evokes the celebrations of America's first national holidays in the years between the ratification of the Constitution and the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson. He demonstrates how, by taking part in the festive culture of the streets, ordinary American men and women were able to play a significant role in forging the political culture of the young nation. The creation of many of the patriotic holidays we still celebrate coincided with the emergence of the first two-party system. With the political songs they sang, the liberty poles they raised, and the partisan badges they wore, Americans of many walks of life helped shape a new national politics destined to replace the regional practices of the colonial era.

The Settlers Empire

Author: Bethel Saler
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812246632
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The 1783 Treaty of Paris, which officially recognized the United States as a sovereign republic, also doubled the territorial girth of the original thirteen colonies. The fledgling nation now stretched from the coast of Maine to the Mississippi River and up to the Great Lakes. With this dramatic expansion, argues author Bethel Saler, the United States simultaneously became a postcolonial republic and gained a domestic empire. The competing demands of governing an empire and a republic inevitably collided in the early American West. The Settlers' Empire traces the first federal endeavor to build states wholesale out of the Northwest Territory, a process that relied on overlapping colonial rule over Euro-American settlers and the multiple Indian nations in the territory. These entwined administrations involved both formal institution building and the articulation of dominant cultural customs that, in turn, served also to establish boundaries of citizenship and racial difference. In the Northwest Territory, diverse populations of newcomers and Natives struggled over the region's geographical and cultural definition in areas such as religion, marriage, family, gender roles, and economy. The success or failure of state formation in the territory thus ultimately depended on what took place not only in the halls of government but also on the ground and in the everyday lives of the region's Indians, Francophone creoles, Euro- and African Americans, and European immigrants. In this way, The Settlers' Empire speaks to historians of women, gender, and culture, as well as to those interested in the early national state, the early West, settler colonialism, and Native history.

Sex among the Rabble

Author: Clare A. Lyons
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807838969
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Placing sexual culture at the center of power relations in Revolutionary-era Philadelphia, Clare A. Lyons uncovers a world where runaway wives challenged their husbands' patriarchal rights and where serial and casual sexual relationships were commonplace. By reading popular representations of sex against actual behavior, Lyons reveals the clash of meanings given to sex and illuminates struggles to recast sexuality in order to eliminate its subversive potential. Sexuality became the vehicle for exploring currents of liberty, freedom, and individualism in the politics of everyday life among groups of early Americans typically excluded from formal systems of governance--women, African Americans, and poor classes of whites. Lyons shows that men and women created a vibrant urban pleasure culture, including the eroticization of print culture, as eighteenth-century readers became fascinated with stories of bastardy, prostitution, seduction, and adultery. In the post-Revolutionary reaction, white middle-class men asserted their authority, Lyons argues, by creating a gender system that simultaneously allowed them the liberty of their passions, constrained middle-class women with virtue, and projected licentiousness onto lower-class whites and African Americans. Lyons's analysis shows how class and racial divisions fostered new constructions of sexuality that served as a foundation for gender. This gendering of sexuality in the new nation was integral to reconstituting social hierarchies and subordinating women and African Americans in the wake of the Revolution.

Learning to Stand and Speak

Author: Mary Kelley
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807839183
Format: PDF, ePub
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Education was decisive in recasting women's subjectivity and the lived reality of their collective experience in post-Revolutionary and antebellum America. Asking how and why women shaped their lives anew through education, Mary Kelley measures the significant transformation in individual and social identities fostered by female academies and seminaries. Constituted in a curriculum that matched the course of study at male colleges, women's liberal learning, Kelley argues, played a key role in one of the most profound changes in gender relations in the nation's history: the movement of women into public life. By the 1850s, the large majority of women deeply engaged in public life as educators, writers, editors, and reformers had been schooled at female academies and seminaries. Although most women did not enter these professions, many participated in networks of readers, literary societies, or voluntary associations that became the basis for benevolent societies, reform movements, and activism in the antebellum period. Kelley's analysis demonstrates that female academies and seminaries taught women crucial writing, oration, and reasoning skills that prepared them to claim the rights and obligations of citizenship.

Beyond the Founders

Author: Jeffrey L. Pasley
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807898833
Format: PDF, Docs
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In pursuit of a more sophisticated and inclusive American history, the contributors to Beyond the Founders propose new directions for the study of the political history of the republic before the Civil War. In ways formal and informal, symbolic and tactile, this political world encompassed blacks, women, entrepreneurs, and Native Americans, as well as the Adamses, Jeffersons, and Jacksons, all struggling in their own ways to shape the new nation and express their ideas of American democracy. Taking inspiration from the new cultural and social histories, these political historians show that the early history of the United States was not just the product of a few "founding fathers," but was also marked by widespread and passionate popular involvement; print media more politically potent than that of later eras; and political conflicts and influences that crossed lines of race, gender, and class. Contributors: John L. Brooke, The Ohio State University Andrew R. L. Cayton, Miami University (Ohio) Saul Cornell, The Ohio State University Seth Cotlar, Willamette University Reeve Huston, Duke University Nancy Isenberg, University of Tulsa Richard R. John, University of Illinois at Chicago Albrecht Koschnik, Florida State University Rich Newman, Rochester Institute of Technology Jeffrey L. Pasley, University of Missouri, Columbia Andrew W. Robertson, City University of New York William G. Shade, Lehigh University David Waldstreicher, Temple University Rosemarie Zagarri, George Mason University

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte

Author: Charlene M. Boyer Lewis
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812206533
Format: PDF, Docs
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Two centuries ago, Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was one of the most famous women in America. Beautiful, scandalous, and outspoken, she had wed Napoleon's brother Jerome, borne his child, and seen the marriage annulled by the emperor himself. With her notorious behavior, dashing husband, and associations with European royalty, Elizabeth became one of America's first celebrities during a crucial moment in the nation's history. At the time of Elizabeth's fame, the United States had only recently gained its independence, and the character of American society and politics was not yet fully formed. Still concerned that their republican experiment might fail and that their society might become too much like that of monarchical Europe, many Americans feared the corrupting influence of European manners and ideas. Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte's imperial connections and aristocratic aspirations made her a central figure in these debates, with many, including members of Congress and the social elites of the day, regarding her as a threat. Appraising Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte's many identities—celebrity, aristocrat, independent woman, mother—Charlene M. Boyer Lewis shows how Madame Bonaparte, as she was known, exercised extraordinary social power at the center of the changing transatlantic world. In spite of the assumed threat that she posed to the new social and political order, Americans could not help being captivated by Elizabeth's style, beauty, and wit. She offered an alternative to the republican wife by pursuing a life of aristocratic dreams in the United States and Europe. Her story reminds us of the fragility of the American experiment in its infancy and, equally important, of the active role of women in the debates over society and culture in the early republic.

Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women s Rights Movement

Author: Sally McMillen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199758609
Format: PDF
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In a quiet town of Seneca Falls, New York, over the course of two days in July, 1848, a small group of women and men, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, held a convention that would launch the woman's rights movement and change the course of history. The implications of that remarkable convention would be felt around the world and indeed are still being felt today. In Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Woman's Rights Movement, the latest contribution to Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments in American History series, Sally McMillen unpacks, for the first time, the full significance of that revolutionary convention and the enormous changes it produced. The book covers 50 years of women's activism, from 1840-1890, focusing on four extraordinary figures--Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony. McMillen tells the stories of their lives, how they came to take up the cause of women's rights, the astonishing advances they made during their lifetimes, and the lasting and transformative effects of the work they did. At the convention they asserted full equality with men, argued for greater legal rights, greater professional and education opportunities, and the right to vote--ideas considered wildly radical at the time. Indeed, looking back at the convention two years later, Anthony called it "the grandest and greatest reform of all time--and destined to be thus regarded by the future historian." In this lively and warmly written study, Sally McMillen may well be the future historian Anthony was hoping to find. A vibrant portrait of a major turning point in American women's history, and in human history, this book is essential reading for anyone wishing to fully understand the origins of the woman's rights movement.