Masculinity in Politics and War in the Age of Democratic Revolutions, 1750-1850

TitleMasculinity in Politics and War in the Age of Democratic Revolutions, 1750-1850
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDudink, Stefan, and Karen Hagemann
EditorDudink, Stefan, Karen Hagemann, and John Tosh
Book TitleMasculinities in Politics and War: Gendering Modern History
PublisherManchester University Press

This introductory chapter in the 2004 collection on Masculinities in Politics and War: Gendering Modern History explores the development and importance of ideas of masculinity in the history of politics and war in the Age of the Democratic Revolutions from 1750 to 1850 in a comparative perspective focusing on the contested discourses in colonial and revolutionary America and revolutionary France as well as the conservative, monarchical powers Britain and Prussia. It shows how politics and war became the seemingly ‘natural’ homelands of masculinity - a masculinity that sometimes has been quite explicit, but often has been elided in the equation of ‘man’ with ‘human’ and ‘mankind’ which conceals masculinity behind discourses of ‘general interests’ and ‘universality’. The chapter analyses the historical processes by which politics and war came to be constructed as ‘naturally’ – and exclusively – masculine realms and demonstrates the implications of this focus for traditional historical narratives.

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