Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

History

First Advisor

Klinck, D.

Keywords

Women's Studies.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This paper constitutes a comparative analyis of the way in which late eighteenth century French and American visual art, imbued with biomedical conclusions, aided in the construction and evolution of a uniquely female role in the post-revolutionary role period, a role which both French and American historians refer to as the Republican Mother. The basic premise of the thesis, derived from scrutinizing graphic art created between 1760 and 1800 in conjunction with period literature, magazine articles, debates of political assemblies, letters, diaries, and other sources of information is that the political climate of the two countries was opposed to the notion of female participation. In both countries pictures, with few exceptions, demonstrated that women were suited only to domestic pursuits and were incapable of meeting the requirements for citizenship in the fledgling Republics of France and America. This definition of womanhood, propagated by Enlightened physicians, was held in common by pro-revolutionaries and pro-monarchists alike. Women of both countries became the target of criticism for blurring gender roles during the French and American Revolutions. It was the scientic aesthetic, particularly vicious in regards to portrayals of French women, that maintained the credibility of scientific precepts threatened by women's revolutionary activities. This graphic treatment of women had far-reaching consequences in defining women's role in the fledgling Republics and their ability to influence future public policy.Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1997 .G34. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 37-01, page: 0150. Adviser: David Klinck. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1997.

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