Maternalizing American Government, Briefly

in The Motherless State

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226514543
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226514567 | DOI:
Maternalizing American Government, Briefly

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American government became maternal because it became identified as a legitimate instrument for caring for people, whether the recipients of that care were men or women, adults or children, American citizens or newly arrived immigrants. Liberal individualism alone was clearly insufficient for attaining women's political inclusion as voters. Class and race biases impacted the implementation of maternal public policies. The use in the Progressive Era of two different sets of arguments for woman suffrage corresponds to the fledgling hybrid character of American public policies. The United States differs from most other comparable democracies in its failure to sustain public policies representing maternalism. The United States has never adopted gender quotas; it long ago destroyed its monarchical heritage, and failed to sustain the maternal impetus marking the Progressive Era.

Keywords: American government; liberal individualism; maternal public policies; Progressive Era; woman suffrage; American public policies; maternalism; gender quotas; monarchical heritage

Chapter.  11299 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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