A German Women's Movement: Class and Gender in Hanover, by Nancy R. Reagin

By Nancy R. Reagin

Nancy Reagin analyzes the rhetoric, concepts, and courses of greater than 80 bourgeois women's institutions in Hanover, a wide provincial capital, from the Imperial interval to the Nazi seizure of strength. She examines the social and demographic foundations of the Hanoverian women's circulate, interweaving neighborhood historical past with advancements at the nationwide point. utilizing the German adventure as a case learn, Reagin explores the hyperlinks among political conservatism and a feminist schedule in accordance with a trust in innate gender variations. Reagin's research incorporates a big choice of women's organizations-feminist, nationalist, spiritual, philanthropic, political, undefined. It specializes in the ways that bourgeois women's category historical past and political socialization, and their aid of the assumption of 'spiritual motherhood' mixed inside an antidemocratic weather to supply a conservative, maternalist method of women's matters and different political concerns. in line with Reagin, the truth that the women's circulate advanced during this method is helping to give an explanation for why such a lot of middle-class girls chanced on nationwide Socialism beautiful.

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Additional resources for A German Women's Movement: Class and Gender in Hanover, 1880-1933

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22 The SPD could win only in Reichstag elections, of course, because all other provincial and local elections were based on restricted franchises. The SPD thus could not threaten the liberals' control over Hanover's municipal government; the SPD's rapid growth and firm hold on Hanover's Reichstag seat must nevertheless have been galling to both the National Liberals and Guelphs. Local social reform groups that arose after 1890 (including women's organizations) would reflect this sense of anger and unease regarding the SPD, as well as continuing divisions between Guelph partisans and those who accepted Prussian rule.

Hanover was typical only in the sense that it shared a number of particular local characteristics with many other cities. The Hanover women's movement was thus the product of a specific urban environment. Local women's associations were shaped by the city's basic, persistent featuresthe confessional distribution of its population, for exampleand also by the constant changes that Hanover was undergoing during this period, including rapid industrial development and an expanding population. In addition, Hanover women's organizations were influenced by the city's political environment, which set the parameters within which the local women's movement would develop.

At the national level, the BDF tried to overcome party political divisions within its ranks by embracing a doctrine of √úberparteilichkeit (being "above" party political divisions, or "neutral" in a partisan sense). This was easier before 1908, when the laws regulating voluntary associations in most German states prohibited women from joining political associations, or even attending meetings where ''public affairs" were discussed. These laws were superseded in 1908 by the new Reichsvereinsgesetz, which finally allowed women to join political parties.

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