Introduction: Gender, War and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Wars of Revolution and Liberation, 1775-1830

TitleIntroduction: Gender, War and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Wars of Revolution and Liberation, 1775-1830
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHagemann, Karen, and Jane Rendall
EditorHagemann, Karen, Gisela Mettele, and Jane Rendall
Book TitleGender, War and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives, 1775-1830
Pagination1 - 37
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityBasingstoke, UK

The multiplicity, variety and ambiguity of representations of gender between 1775 and 1830 demonstrate its importance in the political and military culture of the time. Simultaneously they also reflect the complexities and paradoxes of this period of accelerated economic, social and cultural change, political upheaval and transatlantic mass warfare,  the age of the Wars of Revolution and Liberation, which begins with the American War of Independence in 1775, includes the French and Haitian Revolutions and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and ends in 1830 after the conclusion of the Latin American Wars of Independence. The variety of gender representations to be found in these years suggests the multiple ways in which gender worked. The Introduction discusses the aims of the volume, which analyses the relationships between war, politics and changing gender regimes during these wars, which requires a dynamic and relational concept of gender. Recent scholarship on the period from 1775 to 1830 suggests that while a pattern of hierarchy and complementarity shaped gender relationships in most societies to some degree, concepts of masculinity and femininity depended on their historical context, were never constant and were continuously negotiated.  The aim is to advance the knowledge of the relations between the military, war, nation and gender, in the light of transatlantic connections and comparisons as well as regional and national differences and similarities. It also seeks to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between gender and the memory of these wars in the nineteenth century. In doing so the introdcution like the book focus on five major themes: War, Empire and Slavery; Masculinity, Revolution and War; Warfare, Civil Society and Women; Patriotism, Citizenship and Nation-Building;  and Demobilization, Commemoration and Memory.

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