The Gendered Self and Political Nations, 1870–1914

  • Glenda Sluga
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series book series (PMSTH)


At the heart of peacemaking in 1919 was not any individual, or group of men, or even mode of organisation; it was the term ‘principle of nationality’ that lent legitimacy and lifeblood to a process often mired in ideological confusion and bedevilled intentions. So far I have argued that contemporary interest in the ‘psychological reality’ of the nation, as the turn-of-the-century French journal La femme nouvelle had put it, was implicit in the conception of nations as political entities or states. The history of science, and psychology more specifically, was critical to the political and cultural purchase of the principle of nationality, and its hearkening to a democratic new world order. The theories of the self that Walter Pillsbury described in 1919 as among the three main approaches to the study of the nation are of particular interest in this context, given that they bestowed political nations with psychological characteristics normally associated with an individual’s capacity for political agency, also termed self-determination. In spite of the view stated in La femme nouvelle, that national patriotism was a disposition that ‘everyone’ could find in oneself, it was precisely the application of theories of the self to the idea of the nation that privileged masculinity and rendered women’s place in the political nation problematic.


National Identity Late Nineteenth Century National Contour International Politics Political Nation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    See B. Caine and G. Sluga, Gendering European History (London: Leicester University Press, 2000), chapters 4 and 6.Google Scholar
  2. 22.
    E. Jones, `War and Individual Psychology’, The Sociological Review, 8 (1915) 173.Google Scholar
  3. 25.
    See B. Bicknell, ‘The Nationality of Married Women’, Grotius Papers: Problems of peace and war, 20 (1935) 498.Google Scholar
  4. 26.
    I. Hull, Sexuality, State, and Civil Society in Germany, 1700–1815 ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996 ), p. 410.Google Scholar
  5. 31.
    H. Munsterberg, The Americans ( London: Williams and Norgate, 1905 ), p. 583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 39.
    B. von Suttner, Memoirs of Bertha von Suttner: The records of an eventful life ( Boston: Ginn, 1910 ), p. 328.Google Scholar
  7. 60.
    H. Maudsley, Body and Will: Being an essay concerning will in its metaphysical, physiological and pathological aspects ( London: Kegan Paul, 1883 ), p. 154.Google Scholar
  8. 75.
    See for example C. Hayes, The Historical Evolution of Modern Nationalism ( New York: Macmillan, 1948 ), p. 189.Google Scholar
  9. 89.
    E. S. Apter, Continental Drift: From national characters to virtual subjects ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999 ), p. 27.Google Scholar
  10. 117.
    R. M. Saunders, In Search of Woodrow Wilson (Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1998 ), pp. 6, 35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Glenda Sluga 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenda Sluga
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations