From Colony to Nation: Women Activists and the Gendering of by Anne S. Macpherson

By Anne S. Macpherson

The first booklet on women’s political historical past in Belize, From Colony to Nation demonstrates that girls have been creators of and activists in the important political currents of twentieth-century Belize: colonial-middle category reform and renowned labor-nationalism. As such, their alliances and struggles with colonial directors, male reformers, and nationalists and with each other have been primary to the emergence of this inconceivable nation-state.
 
From Colony to Nation attracts on wide study and formerly unmined resources equivalent to virtually 100 interviews, colonial executive files, the documents of Belize’s first feminist association, and courtroom files. Anne S. Macpherson examines the tensions of the 1910s that resulted in the 1919 anticolonial rebellion; the reform venture of the Twenties, during which Garveyite ladies have been key country allies; the militant anticolonial exertions circulation of the Thirties; the extra bold reform venture of the Nineteen Forties; the profitable yet nonrevolutionary nationalist stream of the Fifties; and the gender dynamics of occasion politics and either Black strength and feminist demanding situations to the celebration procedure within the Sixties and 1970s.
 
From Colony to Nation connects to historiographies of racialized and gendered reform in colonial and different multiracial societies and of tensions among woman activism and masculine authority inside of nationalist pursuits and postcolonial societies.

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Additional info for From Colony to Nation: Women Activists and the Gendering of Politics in Belize, 1912-1982 (Engendering Latin America)

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Hers was a nationalism carried by strong women at once proud of their strength and resentful that men’s lack of “pluck” necessitated it. 6 As during the riot itself, Haynes prevailed. Annie Flowers’s more radical and inclusive politics were silenced and would lurk in the shadows of popular political culture until their resurgence in the deeper crisis of the mid-1930s. This chapter examines the processes of the 1910s that laid the ground for both the 1919 riot and for the joint state-middle-class reform project of the 1920s that followed.

38 In Belize, the Creole middle class witnessed the 1892 advent of the Unofficial Majority on the Legislative Council, which empowered the white merchant-landowner elite, and then the 1894 urban riot, and so it chose to court the colonial state as its only viable ally. Angered by its political exclusion but fearful of popular black unrest, middle-class leaders opted for colonial accommodation, founding their claims to legislative— not executive — rights by articulating an origin myth that emphasized their white male ancestors’ participation in the 1798 Battle of St.

I show that the plan to modernize colonialism was deeply gendered and racialized, that its goal was to morally rehabilitate the racially and sexually degenerate masses, remaking their sexual, familial, economic, and political desires and behavior. 53 As a disciplinary project, reform had little populist appeal. Rather, women welcomed new state services without ceasing to identify as workers, heads of households, or with the simmering culture of anticolonialism. Rising unmet expectations of the state in fact fueled renewed popular nationalism at the close of the 1940s, a movement that reformers utterly failed to contain.

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