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Chapter 1

HLST 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Indian Act, Cultural Feminism, Emancipation Proclamation

Health Studies
Course Code
HLST 1000
Dennis Raphael

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Page 47.
Alicja Musynski
Liberal Feminism
Historical Background
- The liberal feminist perspective deals with women’s rights
- Liberalism ; a philosophy, which extends back to the period of Enlightenment ( 1690-1790) aka
Age of Reason created by Descartes , the scientific discoveries of Galileo and Newton’s creation
of physics based on the principles of mathematics
- The development of scientific knowledge helped transform the global economy. ( Industrial
Revolution Great Britain in the 18th century )
- Beliefs behind Liberal Philosophy also lead to the American Declaration of Independence and
French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen
- 1867 British North America Act separated the British colony from US
- 1982 The Canadian Constitution was repatriated and Charter of Rights was enshrined in it
- These political revolutions were to give ‘man’ freedom from the monarchic rule but it did not
apply to all women and men of different races.
- The abolishment of slavery 19th century in Britain
- First slave to arrive in Canada 1629
- Britain abolished the slave trade 1807
- US abolished slavery after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863
- 1876 Canadian government legislated the Indian Act ( created an official government category
status for Indians)
- 1960 Indians were given the right to vote
- Large populations of labourers emigrated from other countries to Canada in order to seek
employment or starve. This created an indigenous for of capitalism.
- Marlene LeGates in the history of Western feminism entitled Making Waves (1996) argues that
women were unsuccessful in organizing a group centralized around women rights until the
modern era.
- The rights for a particular group such as women rights had to be generalized so that all
individuals could be entitled to the same rights, for instance in liberal democracies, all citizens
are granted the right to vote.
- During the French Revolution, feminist fought to say that women had the same political rights as
men but they were not heard and were silenced by the backlash that followed the Napoleonic
Code of 1804.
- Black women welcomed white women into their organizations but the reverse was not always
Maternal Feminism or Welfare State Liberalism?
1) Classical Liberalism: The state exists the prevent civil liberties (voting rights, freedom of speech,
freedom of religion) and instead of interfering with the free market, to provide all individuals
with equal opportunity to determine their own accumulations within that market.
- Capitalism is the ideal economic system to encourage individuals to realize their potential thus
benefiting both themselves and society.
- Society is viewed as a meritocracy: Those most deserving will get ahead by the means of their
own effort and in the process of serving their own interest also serves the capitalist economy.
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