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Women of Two Countries: German-American Women, Women's Rights and Nativism, 1848-1890

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Volume 2

Transatlantic Perspectives

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Women of Two Countries

German-American Women, Women's Rights and Nativism, 1848-1890

Michaela Bank

216 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-512-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2012)

eISBN 978-0-85745-513-0 eBook

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German-American women played many roles in the US women’s rights movement from 1848 to 1890. This book focuses on three figures—Mathilde Wendt, Mathilde Franziska Anneke, and Clara Neymann—who were simultaneously included and excluded from the nativist women’s rights movement. Accordingly, their roles and arguments differed from those of their American colleagues, such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or Lucy Stone. Moreover, German-American feminists were confronted with the opposition to the women’s rights movement in their ethnic community of German-Americans. As outsiders in the women’s rights movement they became critics; as “women of two countries” they became translators of feminist and ethnic concerns between German- Americans and the US women’s rights movement; and as messengers they could bridge the gap between American and German women in a transatlantic space. This book explores the relationship between ethnicity and gender and deepens our understanding of nineteenth-century transatlantic relationships.

Michaela Bank received her doctoral degree in American Studies from Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main, Germany in 2009. She was a fellow in the graduate research training group “Public Spheres and Gender Relations” funded by the German Research Foundation from 2005 to 2008. From 2008 to 2010 she was a lecturer of American history and gender studies at Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main.

Subject: Gender Studies and Sexuality History: 18th/19th Century
Area: Germany North America


List of Abbreviations


  • Content and Effect of 19th-century Gendered Nativism
  • “Women of Two Countries” as Critics, Translators and Messengers
  • The Complex Place of Women of Two Countries
  • Chapter Notes

Chapter 1. A German-American Movement: Critical Opponents

  • Imagining Opposition to Nativism
  • Mathilde Wendt’s Powerful Words: Die Neue Zeit
  • Mathilde Wendt’s Activism: Deutscher Frauenstimmrechtsverein
  • Opposition as a Dual Strategy
  • Chapter Notes

Chapter 2. Mathilde Franziska Anneke: Powerful Translator

  • Anneke’s Identification with the Women’s Rights Movement
  • Translating Nativism
  • Anneke’s Efforts on Behalf of the Germans
  • Ethnicity as Anneke’s Source of Power
  • Chapter Notes

Chapter 3. Clara Neymann: Transatlantic Messenger

  • Neymann’s German-American political apprenticeship
  • Women Suffrage and Temperance in Nebraska 1882
  • Neymann’s Ethnicization at NWSA Washington Conventions
  • Neymann as Messenger in Germany
  • Chapter Notes

Chapter 4. The Transatlantic Space of “Women of Two Countries”

  • The Ascendance of the US-American Avant-Garde
  • The Paradox of Nativism
  • Chapter Notes


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