Students of United States history, seeking to identify the circumstances that encouraged the emergence of feminist movements, have thoroughly investigated the mid-nineteenth-century American economic and social conditions that affected the status of women. These historians, however, have analyzed less fully the development of specifically feminist ideas and activities during the same period. Furthermore, the ideological origins of feminism in the United States have been obscured because, even when historians did take into account those feminist ideas and activities occurring within the United States, they failed to recognize that feminism was then a truly international movement actually centered in Europe. American feminist activists who have been described as "solitary" and "individual theorists" were in reality connected to a movement -utopian socialism--which was already popularizing feminist ideas in Europe during the two decades that culminated inthe first women's rights conference held at Seneca Falls. New York, in 1848. Thus, a complete understanding of the origins and development of nineteenth-century feminism in the United Statesrequires that the geographical focus be widened to include Europe and that the detailed study already made of social conditions be expanded to include the ideological development of feminism.
The earliest and most popular of the utopian socialists were the Saint-Simonians. The specifically feminist part of Saint-Simonianism has, however, been less studied than the group's contribution toearly socialism. This is regrettable on two counts. By 1832 feminism was the central concern ofSaint-Simonianism and entirely absorbed its adherents' energy; hence, by ignoring its feminism. European historians have misunderstood Saint-Simonianism. Moreover, since many feminist ideascan be traced to Saint-Simonianism, European historians' appreciation of later feminism in Franceand the United States remained limited.
Saint-Simon's followers, many of whom were women, based their feminism on an interpretation ofhis project to reorganize the globe by replacing brute force with the rule of spiritual powers. Thenew world order would be ruled together by a male, to represent reflection, and a female, to represent sentiment. This complementarity reflects the fact that, while the Saint-Simonians did not reject the belief that there were innate differences between men and women, they nevertheless foresaw an equally important social and political role for both sexes in their Utopia.
Only a few Saint-Simonians opposed a definition of sexual equality based on gender distinction. This minority believed that individuals of both sexes were born similar in capacity and character, and they ascribed male-female differences to socialization and education. The envisioned result of both currents of thought, however, was that women would enter public life in the new age and that sexual equality would reward men as well as women with an improved way of life.
1.It can be inferred that the author considers those historians who describe early feminists in the United States as "solitary" to be
A insufficiently familiar with the international origins of nineteenth-century American feminist thought
B overly concerned with the regional diversity of feminist ideas in the period before 1848
C not focused narrowly enough in their geo-graphical scope
D insufficiently aware of the ideological consequences of the Seneca Falls conference
2.According to the passage, which of the following is true of the Seneca Falls conference on women's rights?
A It was primarily a product of nineteenth-century Saint-Simonian feminist thought.
B It was the work of American activists who were independent of feminists abroad.
C It was the culminating achievement of the Utopian socialist movement.
D It was a manifestation of an international movement for social change and feminism
3.The author's attitude toward most European historians who have studied the Saint-Simonians is primarily one of
A approval of the specific focus of their research
B disapproval of their lack of attention to the issue that absorbed most of the Saint-Simonians'energy after 1832
C approval of their general focus on social conditions
D disapproval of their lack of attention to links between the Saint-Simonians and their American counterparts
4. It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes that study of Saint-Simonianism is necessary for historians of American feminism because such study
A would clarify the ideological origins of those feminist ideas that influenced American feminism
B would increase understanding of a movement that deeply influenced the Utopian socialism ofearly American feminists
C would focus attention on the most important aspect of Saint-Simonian thought before 1832
D promises to offer insight into a movement that was a direct outgrowth of the Seneca Falls conference of 1848
5. According to the passage, which of the following would be the most accurate description of the society envisioned by most Saint-Simonians?
A A society in which women were highly regarded for their extensive education
B A society in which the two genders played complementary roles and had equal status
C A society in which women did not enter public life
D A social order in which a body of men and women would rule together on the basis of their spiritual power
A D B A B