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Title: The American Equal Rights Association, 1866-1870 : gender, race, and universal suffrage
Author: Galloway, Stuart John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 5307
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis studies the American Equal Rights Association (AERA), 1866 to 1870, and argues for its historical distinctiveness and significance. The AERA was the only organisation in nineteenth-century America that explicitly campaigned for the rights of men and women on the same platform. Formed in the immediate aftermath of the American Civil War, the AERA joined the discussion of how to reconstruct the war-torn nation, demanding political rights to be extended to all American citizens based on their common humanity. As the first academic study to focus purely on the AERA, this thesis presents a series of new findings and interpretations about the association. It studies the creation, exploits, and demise of the AERA, highlighting and analysing key aspects of the association’s character, from its membership and ideas, to its campaigning and organisational dynamics. It also broadens the source base beyond the two figures of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who have long dominated writings on the woman suffrage movement. Instead, the thesis examines the AERA membership as a whole. In so doing, it argues three main points: first, the association was more than just the vehicle for the woman suffrage movement at this time; second, the association worked well and was not constantly beset by divisions and disputes, and third, the final collapse of the association was due more to the actions of individuals than to wider historical or contextual forces. Besides arguing for the historical distinctiveness and significance of the AERA, this focus on the association itself provides a new angle on wide-ranging questions, concerning Reconstruction history, political relations between men and women and the role of men in movements for gender equality.
Supervisor: Wykes, Elizabeth; Campbell, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available