Presenting the Past, 1865-1920's
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Welcome to SHGAPE

The Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era is an organization of historians who study and promote knowledge of American history from the Reconstruction era through the aftermath of World War I. The society brings together academic, public, and independent historians, as well as scholars in other humanities and social-science disciplines interested in these decades and their issues.

Recent Books by Members

  • In the years following the Civil War, pioneers in the women’s rights movement, women’s medical education, and public-private charitable partnerships joined forces to reduce the incidence of abortion in America. As alumni of the abolitionist movement, they analyzed abortion in ways that resembled their earlier critiques of slavery. Abortion, too, was a structural problem. A self-evidently evil act, it was sustained by the quack doctors and unscrupulous press that it enriched. These advocates believed that women seeking abortions had usually been deprived of their ability to act freely, rationally, and well in the world, almost always by external forces. Thus, they had sympathy for their suffering sisters and pity for their injuries—physical and moral. Early women’s rights advocates worked to raise vulnerable women to their feet, providing them with material and moral resources for “self-extrication” from the depths into which they had sunk.

    The authors of this book have approached their subject critically, examining not just the early women’s rights advocates’ publicly spoken words, but the networks and institutions that they built. This previously untold story illuminates the early history of women’s rights and abortion in America.

    By Monica Klem and Madeleine McDowell

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Reminder: SHGAPE Graduate Student Essay Prize. We are now accepting submissions for the annual Graduate Student Essay Prize. Submissions due by Jan 3. For more information: #twitterstorians

October's Minding the GAPE is a real treat. 🎃 Catch up on the latest Gilded Age & Progressive Era blog posts and articles from around the web: https://blog.shgape.org/minding-the-gape-october-2023/ #twitterstorians

September's Minding the GAPE is here! Read up on the latest Gilded Age and Progressive Era blog posts and articles from around the web: #twitterstorians