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The Motherless StateWomen's Political Leadership and American Democracy$
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Eileen McDonagh

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226514543

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226514567.001.0001

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The Laggard American State

The Laggard American State

Chapter:
(p.137) 5 The Laggard American State
Source:
The Motherless State
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226514567.003.0005

Most democracies comparable to the United States are hybrid states, and, like the United States, started off with a monarchical heritage, which represents social and biological maternal traits by fusing family with state. The United States did anything but break new ground when it comes to women's political rights. Women in the United States eventually gained the right to vote in 1920. Women did better in gaining access to voting rights in political systems that retained their monarchies or never had an indigenous monarchy in the first place. Hereditary monarchies are a powerful illustration of how political context defines women's access to political rule. The key to women's political inclusion in democracies is a hybrid state that combines public policies based on individualism and on maternalism.

Keywords:   hybrid states, United States, democracies, political rights, women, voting rights, hereditary monarchies, public policies, individualism, maternalism

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