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A nationality of her own [electronic resource] : women, marriage, and the law of citizenship /
Candice Lewis Bredbenner.
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1998.
xi, 294 p. ; 24 cm.
0520206509 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Berkeley : University of California Press, c1998.
0520206509 (cloth : alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 257-279) and index.
A Look Inside
Flap Copy
"A very thorough and extremely well-researched study of the making of U.S. policy on married women's citizenship between 1855 and 1934, including a focus on the women's groups that campaigned to move the policy from dependency for the wife to independent citizenship. . . . This is a more detailed history of policy-making in this area than has been done for decades."--Nancy F. Cott, Yale University "This is a growing and important aspect of the history of feminism; the differences of opinion and strategy over these policies serve as an excellent case study of the politics of the women's movement of the early part of this century."--Virginia Sapiro, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-11:
Bredbenner (Univ. Of Arizona-West) documents a complex campaign to enact legislation that would equally protect or confer US citizenship on men and women similarly situated. A 1907 law stipulated that native-born American women who married a foreign national risked expatriation or loss of US citizenship, while American men who married foreign nationals did not similarly jeopardize their citizenship. Foreign-born wives of American men generally faced fewer obstacles to citizenship than did foreign-born husbands of American women. In fact, Bredbenner notes that immigrant women were often involuntarily divested of their native citizenship on the principle that a wife's nationality should be the same as her husband's. The author follows the course of the struggle for independent citizenship--that is, citizenship not derivative of one's husband-- through May 1934, when the cause prevailed. Bredbenner considers the role of women's groups in the policy-making process; she examines congressional hearings, follows the path of legislative proposals, and analyzes the impact of enacted legislation. The journey of these issues into US courts and into the international arena, where the League of Nations took up the cause, is also charted. Meticulously researched and detailed, the book draws on an impressive number of primary and secondary documents. A unique resource for researchers or students of women's rights in a historical context. M. Hendrickson; Wilson College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1998
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Long Description
In 1907, the federal government declared that any American woman marrying a foreigner had to assume the nationality of her husband, and thereby denationalized thousands of American women. This highly original study follows the dramatic variations in women's nationality rights, citizenship law, and immigration policy in the United States during the late Progressive and interwar years, placing the history and impact of "derivative citizenship" within the broad context of the women's suffrage movement. Making impressive use of primary sources, and utilizing original documents from many leading women's reform organizations, government agencies, Congressional hearings, and federal litigation involving women's naturalization and expatriation, Candice Bredbenner provides a refreshing contemporary feminist perspective on key historical, political, and legal debates relating to citizenship, nationality, political empowerment, and their implications for women's legal status in the United States. This fascinating and well-constructed account contributes profoundly to an important but little-understood aspect of the women's rights movement in twentieth-century America.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Conscripted Allegiance: Marital Naturalization and the Immigrant Womanp. 15
America's Prodigal Daughters and Dutiful Wives: Debating the Expatriation Act of 1907p. 45
The Cable Act: Solutions and Problemsp. 80
Entangled Nets: Immigration Control and the Law of Naturalizationp. 113
Living with the Law: The 1930sp. 151
Nationality Rights in International Perspectivep. 195
Epiloguep. 243
Bibliographyp. 257
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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