The “great doctrine of human rights”: articulation and authentication in the nineteenth-century U.S. antislavery and women’s rights movements

Stevenson, Ana (2017) The “great doctrine of human rights”: articulation and authentication in the nineteenth-century U.S. antislavery and women’s rights movements. Humanity, 8 (3). pp. 413-439.

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Abstract

Human rights are often considered a twentieth-century phenomenon, yet the concept has its ideological foundations in earlier social movements. During the nineteenth century, human rights periodically emerged as a contested concept, their meaning in constant flux. When the rhetoric of human rights did appear, it was at important junctures between the antislavery and women’s rights movements. Early allusions were shaped by a tradition of humanitarianism and paternalism, relying on intertextual references and authenticating documents to validate this fledgling idea. By the end of the nineteenth century, however, women’s suffragists attributed a far more recognizable, universalistic meaning to the concept of human rights.

Item ID: 67573
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2151-4372
Funders: New England Regional Fellowship Consortium
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2021 23:11
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430321 North American history @ 50%
50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5002 History and philosophy of specific fields > 500207 History of ideas @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130706 Understanding the past of the Americas @ 100%
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