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Blaming the Women: Women’s ‘Responsibility’ for the First World War

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Abstract

At the end of the nineteenth century, in Germany, as in most of Europe, women were frequently made responsible for male actions despite their lack of power and legal rights. At that time, German women were downtrodden even by the standards of the rest of Europe, with women trapped by legal, social and class restrictions, by established customs and the militarization of civil society, until they existed in a state of almost complete dependence on and subjection to men (Gerhardt 1978). Women were subject to male guardianship; the doors of most professions were closed to them, as were those of higher education. The Prussian Law of Association, which prevented women from even being present at political meetings, remained in place from 1851 to 1908, making campaigning for female suffrage well-nigh impossible during this period.

Keywords

  • German Woman
  • Home Front
  • German Mother
  • Political Meeting
  • Male Suffering

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2007 Ingrid Sharp

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Sharp, I. (2007). Blaming the Women: Women’s ‘Responsibility’ for the First World War. In: Fell, A.S., Sharp, I. (eds) The Women’s Movement in Wartime. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230210790_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230210790_5

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

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