"Ernestine Rose as International Citizen"

Bonnie Anderson, PhD

Insisting that the movement for women's rights was cosmopolitan, not limited to one nation, Ernestine Rose served as a common link connecting women's rights activists on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bonnie S. Anderson, speaking on "Ernestine Rose as International Citizen," argued that Rose's internationalism grew out of her socialism, her belief that "Humanity's children are…all one and the same family," with ties and sympathies that override those of national identity or class.

Rose's European network of women's rights reformers often included women who were freethinkers and socialists as well as feminists, while her U.S. network of feminists were nearly all Protestant Christians.

With a Jewish identity largely forced on her by anti-Semitism, Professor Anderson argued that Rose's atheism was far more powerful a factor than her Jewish origins in alienating her from other American reformers.

Paulina Wright Davis, allied with Rose since the petition campaign of the 1840s for married women's property rights, in 1854 "regretted" Rose's atheism "for her own sake, and for the good she might otherwise accomplish."