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Feminism and the Third Republic – Women's Political and Civil Rights in France, 1918-1945 | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Feminism and the Third Republic: Women's Political and Civil Rights in France, 1918-1945

Paul Smith


Why did women in France not win the right to vote until 1945, three-quarters of a century after universal male suffrage had been established? The 1789 Déclaration des Droits de lʼHomme et du Citoyen had aspired to provide the French people with lasting guarantees of their political and civil rights, whilst the constitutional laws of the Third Republic, established in the 1870s, consolidated a regime based on universal suffrage. For the unenfranchised women of France, however, civil rights had barely advanced since the Napoleonic code in 1904. Frenchwomen were not second-class citizens—they wer ... More

Keywords: universal male suffrage, political rights, civil rights, Third Republic, Napoleonic code, Frenchwomen's rights, French feminism, Catholicism and women, gender roles

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1996 Print ISBN-13: 9780198206231
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206231.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Smith, author
University of Nottingham