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Women in the French Revolution information

In Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix, Lady Liberty leads the people of the French Revolution of 1830

Historians since the late 20th century have debated how women shared in the French Revolution and what impact it had on French women. Women had no political rights in pre-Revolutionary France; they were considered "passive" citizens, forced to rely on men to determine what was best for them. That changed dramatically in theory as there seemingly were great advances in feminism. Feminism emerged in Paris as part of a broad because of demand for social and political reform. These women demanded equality to men and then moved on to a demand for the end of male domination. Their chief vehicle for agitation were pamphlets and women's clubs, especially the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women. However, the Jacobin element in power abolished all the women's clubs in October 1793 and arrested their leaders. The movement was crushed. Devance explains the decision in terms of the emphasis on masculinity in wartime, Marie Antoinette's bad reputation for feminine interference in state affairs, and traditional male supremacy.[1] A decade later the Napoleonic Code confirmed and perpetuated women's second-class status.[2]

Club of patriotic women in a church
  1. ^ Louis Devance, "Le Féminisme pendant la Révolution Française," Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française (1977) 49#3 pp 341-376
  2. ^ Jane Abray, "Feminism in the French Revolution," American Historical Review (1975) 80#1 pp. 43-62 in JSTOR

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