Ultimate Vindication Essay

709 words - 3 pages

Mary Wollstonecraft’s work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman received critical reviews that were almost uniformly positive following its publication in 1792. This is surprising because of the extreme level of political conservatism that was present in Britain in the late 18th Century. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was even shocking to some liberal thinkers of the late 18th century, and because of Britain’s political conservatism, Mary Wollstonecraft was subject to a variety of cruel humiliations during her lifetime. The political reform that she advocated in her work seems quite harmless today, and it is difficult for current readers to empathize with the vitriol that ...view middle of the document...

Wollstonecraft believed that women had been complicit in their oppressed roles in society, and that many of them were content for men to trivialize them as frivolous people; more interested in romantic novels, gossip and fashion, than they were in gaining rights and fighting for autonomy. She believed that a woman’s access to equal education would cure many of these ills.

The American and French Revolutions complicated political matters in Britain in the late 18th century. While there were plenty of liberal thinkers who advocated for a more representative and republican government, after the colonies declared independence in 1776, the populace began to worry about the history and identity of their nation. Citizens of England worried that their legacy was under a substantial threat. “Open support for an independent republic was a position increasingly difficult to maintain in public life” (Eger and Pelz 99). Advocating for republicanism might have once been accepted as rational political discourse would now more likely to land writers and philosophers in...

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