By Rebecca Edwards

Angels within the equipment deals a sweeping research of the centrality of gender to politics within the usa from the times of the Whigs to the early 20th century. writer Rebecca Edwards exhibits that ladies within the U.S. participated actively and influentially as Republicans, Democrats, and leaders of third-party pursuits like Prohibitionism and Populism--decades sooner than they gained definitely the right to vote--and within the procedure controlled to remodel endlessly the ideology of yankee social gathering politics. utilizing cartoons, speeches, celebration structures, information money owed, and crusade memorabilia, she deals a compelling clarification of why kinfolk values, women's political actions, or even applicants' intercourse lives stay hot-button matters in politics to today.

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Additional resources for Angels in the Machinery: Gender in American Party Politics from the Civil War to the Progressive Era

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Their most radical proposals on gender relations—as on race relations—did not come to pass, but Reconstruction opened doorways in these directions. From an early point in the war Republican leaders demonstrated their regard for women through an innovative pension law. Generous and prompt by standards of previous wars, the Pension Act of 1862 offered unprecedented protection not only to invalid soldiers but to women whose male relatives had sacrificed their lives for the Union. For the first time not only widows but also mothers and "orphan sisters" could claim monthly payments; in the first decade they were the chief beneficiaries of the law.

Democrats watched in horror as Massachusetts, Iowa, and Kansas legalized interracial marriage. Controlled by new anti-Democratic coalitions in the 18505, several states liberalized their divorce laws. Massachusetts, led by the nativist American Party, relaxed restrictions on remarriage, strengthened alimony rights for women, and for the first time authorized judges to attach the wages of divorced men. New York's legislature faced pressure from women's rights advocates on the same issues. Six months before Lincoln's election, the state passed a law dramatically weakening men's right to claim the earnings of their wives.

49 In the realm of politics, a bipartisan system provided the mechanism through which these ideal personages would clash. Democrats' constant denunciation of state "paternalism" linked all their chief grievances through their assertion of independent manhood. "50 The double gendering of this critique—which assailed paternalism but also implied opponents' maternalism, or feminine soft-heartedness—was itself a reaction to the new domestic ideology. In this view, Radical Republicans who upset domestic order were effeminate men and licentious women; they cooperated in sexual and political corruption.

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