Women and the Limits of Citizenship in the French Revolution / Edition 2

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The French masses overwhelmingly supported the Revolution in 1789. Economic hardship, hunger, and debt combined to put them solidly behind the leaders. But between the people's expectations and the politicians' interpretation of what was needed to construct a new state lay a vast chasm. Olwen H. Hufton explores the responses of two groups of working women - those in rural areas and those in Paris - to the revolution's aftermath.

Women were denied citizenship in the new state, but they were not apolitical. In Paris, collective female activity promoted a controlled economy as women struggled to secure an adequate supply of bread at a reasonable price. Rural women engaged in collective confrontation to undermine government religious policy which was destroying the networks of traditional Catholic charity.

Hufton examines the motivations of these two groups, the strategies they used to advance their respective causes, and the bitter misogyinistic legacy of the republican tradition which persisted into the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Not a general history of women in the Revolution, but an examination of selected issues with a view not merely to proving that women were there and hence had a revolution as well, but that their responses transformed and modified the entire history of the period 1789-1815. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802068378
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
  • Publication date: 4/14/1999
  • Series: Donald G. Creighton Lectures
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Olwen H. Hufton is a professor of European History and Women's Studies at Harvard University.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Women and Politics 1
Ch. 2 Poverty and Charity: Revolutionary Mythology and Real Women 51
Ch. 3 In Search of Counter-Revolutionary Women 89
Ch. 4 Epilogue. The Legacy: Myth and Memory 131
Notes 155
Select Bibliography 179
Index 198
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