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The Origins of Modern Feminism

Women in Britain, France and the United States, 1780-1860

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Red Globe Press

Pages: 401
Series:

Themes in Comparative History

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Paperback - 9780333289013

24 January 1985

$46.99

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This comparative study analyses the emergence of feminist movements and their differing characters in Britain, France and the United States. Jane Rendall examines the social, economic and cultural factors which affected...

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This comparative study analyses the emergence of feminist movements and their differing characters in Britain, France and the United States. Jane Rendall examines the social, economic and cultural factors which affected women's status in society, and led some women to act, individually and collectively, to seek to change it.The Enlightenment emphasis on women's 'nature' and the evangelical stress on the moral potential of women contributed to a framework of ideas which could be used by conservatives and by feminists. Among the middle classes, discussion focused on the need to improve women's education and on the strengths and limitations of domesticity. Patterns of paid employment for women were shifting, and Jane Rendall suggests that the weak position of women in the labor market during the early stages of industrialisation restricted their ability to associate together. Yet involvement in religious, political and philanthropic movements could provide a means by which women might come together to identify their common concerns and learn the necessary political skills.Jane Rendall places the origins of feminism in the broader context of social and political change in the nineteenth century, looking both at the changing relationship between paid work and domestic life and at the links between feminism and class and political conflict in three different societies.

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List of Plates
General Editor's Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction
PART 1: THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE NATURE OF WOMEN
PART 2: FEMINISM AND REPUBLICANISM: 'REPUBLICAN MOTHERHOOD'
Republican Possibilities
Conservative Reaction
PART 3: EVANGELICALISM AND THE POWER OF WOMEN
Evangelical Themes
Revivalism and the Organisation of Women
Millenarianism
PART 4: EDUCATING HEARTS AND MINDS
The Case for 'Maternal Education'
The Training of Teachers
The Education of the Majority
PART 5: WORK AND ORGANISATION
Women's Work in the Early Nineteenth Century: Changes and Continuities
Women Workers and Organisation
The New Industrial Society: Factory Labour and Domestic Service
New Demands and New Jobs
PART 6: DOMESTIC QUESTIONS
Domestic Myths and Domestic Realities
Women and Community Protest
Middle-Class Domesticity and its Boundaries
Challenges to Domesticity: Individual and Collective
PART 7: POLITICS, PHILANTHROPY AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE
Crowds, Radicalism and Revolution
Political Issues: Class, Slavery and Race
Moral Reform and Philanthropy
PART 8: THE FEMINIST CASE
Three Writers
Feminist Practice: Defeat and Difficulties in France
The United States: Feminism and the Current Reform
Great Britain: Feminist Politics and the Politics of Class
Conclusion
Abbreviations
Notes and References
Notes to Plates
Bibliography
Index.

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JANE RENDALL is Lecturer in History at the University of York.

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JANE RENDALL is Lecturer in History at the University of York.

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