UCSB > History Dept. > Prof. Marcuse > Courses > Hist 133a > Lecture 18: Women in the 19th Century

UCSB Hist 133A, Fall 2006 (133a homepage)
19th Century Germany, Nov. 13, 2006

Prof. Marcuse (homepage)

Lecture 18:
Women in 19th Century Germany
(previous lecture, next lecture)

Guiding Question

  • How did women mobilize to press for changes, and which issues did they want to change?

Answers to Q6: Facts about the Women's Movement in 19th C. Germany

  • bourgeois vs. proletarian; which comes first, economics or gender?
  • origins: 1848 vs. 1865
  • issues
    • education: 1850 Hamburg Educ. Assoc; 1866 Berlin W.A.Lette; 1888 Helene Lange's "Yellow Brochure"
    • politics: right to vote, to hold office
    • legal status: property ownership, divorce
    • economics: right to work (which sectors?), equal wages, workplace protection
    • reproduction: contraception, abortion (§218 of penal code), child care
    • sexuality: fashion, prostitution, double standard, homosexuality (§175 of penal code)


  • 1865: General German Women's Association (ADF) by Louise Otto-Peters & Auguste Schmidt (1833-1902)
  • 1890: Helene Lange founds the General German Female Teachers' Association (ADLV)
  • 1894: Union of German Women's Associations (Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine, BDF), joins "International Council of Women" (ICW)


  • Louise Otto-Peters (1819-1895)
    • liberal-bourgeois household in Saxony: father=judge, senator, son of doctor; mother=daughter of porcelain-painter
    • orphaned at 16, 2 older sisters, fiancée died when 22 -> journalist and political poetess
    • travels through rural Saxony, 1843 novel "Ludwig the Waiter," 1846 "Castle and Factory"
  • Amalia Struve (1824-1862)
    • 1845: married Gustav von Struve (Baden radical democrat)
    • 1848-49: 205 days in Freiburg tower prison; Rastatt
    • 1852: to US, wrote 9 novels about suffrage and women's education
    • 1862: died after birth of 3rd daughter (husband fought in Civil War, 1866 amnestied and to Vienna)
  • Helene Lange (1848-1930)
    • 1864: orphaned; 1866 studies in Alsace; 1867 governess
    • 1872: private tutor in Berlin, then teacher, then teacher of teachers
    • 1887: "Yellow brochure"
    • 1893: ADF chair; founded magazine "Die Frau" (the woman)
  • Gertrud Bäumer (1873-1954)
    • 1898: lives and works with Lange
    • 1914: organizes women in support of Great War
    • 1918: German Democratic Party; 1920-1930 Reichstag


  • FKK: Free Body Culture (Freikörperkultur--Naturists)
    1795: George Lichtenberg writes in "Das Luftbad" (the air-bath) that Lord Monboddo swims naked
    1888: painter Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach preaches "Sun-Humanity" in Bavaria
    1893: Natural Healing Assoc. founded in Essen (registered 1905; today "Light & Air Athletic Assoc.")
    1902: Journal "Die Schönheit" (Beauty) begins publication in Germany
    1903: Free-Light Park opened near Lübeck; Heinrich Pudor publishes Nacktcultur

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prepared for web by H. Marcuse on Nov. 15, 2006, updated: 11/x/06
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