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Women of Two Countries

Women of Two Countries: German-American Women, Women's Rights and Nativism, 1848-1890

Michaela Bank
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    Women of Two Countries
    Book Description:

    German-American women played many roles in the US women's rights movement from 1848 to 1890. This book focuses on three figures-Mathilde Wendt, Mathilde Franziska Anneke, and Clara Neymann-who were simultaneously included and excluded from the nativist women's rights movement. Accordingly, their roles and arguments differed from those of their American colleagues, such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or Lucy Stone. Moreover, German-American feminists were confronted with the opposition to the women's rights movement in their ethnic community of German-Americans. As outsiders in the women's rights movement they became critics; as "women of two countries" they became translators of feminist and ethnic concerns between German- Americans and the US women's rights movement; and as messengers they could bridge the gap between American and German women in a transatlantic space. This book explores the relationship between ethnicity and gender and deepens our understanding of nineteenth-century transatlantic relationships.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-513-0
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vi-vii)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-32)

    In her correspondence with leaders of the US-American women’s rights movement, the nineteenth-century German-American feminist Mathilde Franzika Anneke was frequently urged to support the reform cause.¹ During the 1860s until her death in 1884, this German expatriate was well-known among the community of early feminists throughout the northeast United States. Despite periods of ill health when she was unable to travel and was forced to remain at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the US-American feminist leaders made it clear how much they needed her. We can see this, for example, in Paulina Wright Davis’s letter, which addressed Anneke as a...

  6. Chapter 1 A German-American Movement: Critical Opponents
    (pp. 33-67)

    Having discussed the typical gendered nativism of US-American feminists in my introduction, I will now focus on German-Americans’ resentment toward the US-American women’s rights movement. This case of German-American opposition centers on the figure of Mathilde Wendt, owner and editor of a German-language paper devoted to the cause of women’s rights,Die Neue Zeit (NZ),who took part in the founding of theDeutscher Frauenstimmrechtsverein.In words as well as in deeds she was at the center of a German-American oppositional women’s rights movement in New York City during the 1870s, and represented a critical voice against the US-American women’s...

  7. Chapter 2 Mathilde Franziska Anneke: Powerful Translator
    (pp. 68-110)

    Anneke’s powerful position in the women’s rights movement stemmed from her hybrid position as a “woman of two countries,” an identity she was given in letters by US-American feminist leaders. She had risen to prominence as the female “warrior” during the revolution in Baden in 1848 at the side of her husband Fritz—an image that Anneke herself upheld in her memoirMemoiren einer Frau aus den badischen Feldzügen.She was also seen as a “power among the Germans” (Bentley, letter to Anneke, 10 September 1880, MFA Papers) that could convince the German community of the righteousness of the women’s...

  8. Chapter 3 Clara Neymann: Transatlantic Messenger
    (pp. 111-153)

    Very much like Anneke, Clara Neymann, née Loew, was a well-known public woman in the German reform community of the United States, too. The actions and ideas of this German-American woman, who was also a prominent member of the women’s rights movement from the 1870s through the 1910s, are at the heart of this case study. Her life, including biography, activities, and ideas, has remained untold until now. As we have seen, Anneke’s power derived from her firm and stable position in the German-American community, which provided her with a strategic role in the US-American women’s rights movement. By contrast,...

  9. Chapter 4 The Transatlantic Space of “Women of Two Countries”
    (pp. 155-173)

    “Above the Senior Wrangler” reads the caption of an illustration printed on the reverse of the twenty-third NAWSA convention program of 1891.¹ This image depicted the condescending look of an educated woman, a “Senior Wrangler,” directed at a farmer carrying out his field work by abusing the strength of a woman in the same way that he makes use of the strength of his ox. Apart from its more common usage for a man working as herder, the name “wrangler” also has particular meaning in the British university system. There, it is a term used for students who have completed...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 174-187)
  11. Index
    (pp. 188-192)