Women´s Emancipation Movements in the 19th Century


This volume paints a comprehensive picture of women´s emancipation throughout Europe in a time of far-reaching cultural, political, and socio-economic transformations. Most historical research to the present has ignored Europe´s diversity, preferring to focus on movements in major western European countries, such as Britain and France. Here, seventeen historians examine the origins and development of women´s emancipation movements from the Netherlands to Imperial Russia, in their drive to improve women´s right. The authors throw new light on common developments and problems by delving into the cultural and political diversity of nineteenth-century Europe and revealing connections to questions already asked by conventional scholarship. Rooted in the philosophy of the Enlightenment, the idea of women´s emancipation was slow to gain strength in the reactionary decades following the French Revolution. But by the 1830s and 1840s, and increasingly in the second half of the century, women´s organizations emerged. During this early period of growth, education and employment for women became important concerns as a consequence of socio-economic change. Nationalism attracted women into the public sphere by virtue of its potential links to the question of gender. Literary feminism, spreading through much of Europe in the middle decades of the century, served as a vehicle for the discussion of gender relations. Movements for social, political, and religious reform became major starting points for momen´s activity. By the end of the century, the women´s movement had gained a mass following. The ensuing victories of the central issue of suffrage in most European countries marked a turning point in the movement by opening the door to women´s general political participation.

  • Geschichte
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Name Project no. Description Period
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft-
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