Introduction: Gender, War and the Nation in the Period of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars — European Perspectives

TitleIntroduction: Gender, War and the Nation in the Period of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars — European Perspectives
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsAaslestad, Katherine, Karen Hagemann, and Judith Miller
JournalEuropean History Quarterly
Volume37
Issue4 (Special Issue)
Pagination501-506
Date Published10/2007
Abstract

The  introduction of the special issue "Women, Nation and Patriotism in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815)" of the journal European History Quarterly summarizes the aims of the volume, which challenge  readers to rethink the conflation of masculinity, citizenship and warfare during this era. This period  has long been considered a foundational moment of modern state-building, nationalism, and political rights. Yet the importance of notions of gender  in the period’s politics and warfare has not received ennough attention yet.  Across Europe, the drafting of constitutions and civil codes, as well as the critical role played by both men and women in civic activities and political clubs, forced those societies to ponder the limits of the equality that new revolutionary ideologies proclaimed. Warfare, which altered everyday life as it recast the relationship between the individual and the state, offers an extreme vantage point from which to consider the gendered nature of citizenship at the turn of the nineteenth century. While combat had always been primarily a masculine activity, the nascent vision of the citizen – a committed and active defender of the nation – raised precisely the question of whether female loyalty to the country would entail the same responsibilities and provide women the same rights as their husbands, brothers and fathers.

URLhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0265691407081406
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