Rethinking Women’s Suffrage in the Nineteenth Century

Birgitta Bader-Zaar

This chapter attempts to clarify the historical significance of limited suffrage for women in the context of constitutionalization and major socio-economic change in nineteenth-century Europe. A shift in perspective, away from universal suffrage and its discourse, which generally linked the gradual individualization of the franchise to men, offers a new view of citizenship. Taking suffrage norms and electoral practices not only on the national but also on the local level into account reveals the significance of women’s local political rights. This case-study of the Austrian half of the Habsburg Monarchy in comparison with Sweden and the United Kingdom underlines the continuing emphasis on property rights in the field of suffrage in the nineteenth century and the realization that women could be of use for party interests intent on upholding privileges in manifold ways.

Institut für Geschichte
ÖFOS 2012
505014 Rechtsgeschichte, 601014 Neuere Geschichte, 504014 Gender Studies
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