British Abolition and Feminism in Transatlantic Perspective

TitleBritish Abolition and Feminism in Transatlantic Perspective
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMidgley, Clare
EditorSklar, Kathryn, and James Brewer Stewart
Book TitleWomen's Rights and Transatlantic Antislavery in the Era of Emancipation
PublisherYale University Press
CityNew Haven, CT

This chapter examines abolition and feminism in Britain in comparison with the abolitionist/feminist movement in the United States and links the British abolitionist movement's formulations of race and gender to influences of the British empire. It shows that the reluctance of British abolitionists to embrace American feminism could be attributed to important differences in the two nations' political cultures. It also highlights the importance of the British reformers' concerns for women “enslaved” in “savage” Africa and in the “despotic” Orient, and in the slave plantations of the Caribbean. In conclusion, the chapter considers female antislavery as an expression of feminism and its relation to white racism as well as British imperialism.

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