Women in Modern European History Research Papers
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Women in modern European society experienced a series of dramatic changes in their personal lives, their social standing, and their political abilities. Numerous prominent women rose to great heights of political and social power in modern European history, from those as early as Marie Antoinette of France and Catherine the Great of Russia, to those ruling in more recent years, including Angela Merkel of Germany. Countless women fought for these basic political and social rights, using tactics that ran the gamut from petitioning and lobbying to brute force and principles of anarchism. As more and more political rights were gained, women began to experience a change in their quality of life, one that allowed them to have a greater sense of control over their day-to-day activities and how their futures will play out.
One element of modern European history reflected this increased participation of women more than any other: Communism. After the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Bolshevik party, Communism started sweeping Eastern Europe. For decades, women living under this rule experienced a sort of societal participation that their counterparts in Western Europe did not. At the core of Communism was the belief that all members of society need to contribute equally, regardless of their gender. For women this meant the following:
- Women worked in fields and factories alongside men, with no differentiation between their contributions to society as a whole.
- Women experienced a greater sense of respect and self-worth than in other nations, because their work was valued and appreciated.
- Though there were countless elements of this political and economic system that were harmful to the people as a whole, women were able to experience a sort of freedom and productivity as never seen before, advancing their station in life dramatically.