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Feminist Leaders

Margaret Fuller

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Margaret Fuller was an American social reformer and writer. She inspired women to become feminist activists by her writings, accomplishments and seminars. She was the first female professional literary critic and foreign correspondent of the United States.

Margaret was born on May 23, 1810 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to her father, Timothy Fuller, a Harvard graduate who became a lawyer legislator. He taught her the classical curriculum, normally exclusive to men. After gaining an extensive knowledge from her home schooling, she moved on to finishing school in Groton, Conneticut.

Hired by Bronson Alcott, Margaret taught at Temple School for a couple years. Beginning in 1839 until about five years, she held intellectual seminars mainly for middle class women to educate them about philosophy and argument. During this time she became a member of the Transcendental club, a literary movement subtly regarding politics. The transcendalism belief addressed women's rights and roles in society, providing a pathway to the freedom of women.

Margaret co-founded and edited the first transcendentalist literary journal with Emerson called, "The Dial". She released her first independent book in 1844 called "Summer on the Lakes". She received a job from the New York Tribune as a literary critic. She became the first female working in the field of journalism. Her following book called, "Woman in the Nineteenth Century" pulished during 1845 was feminist theory defending the equal rights of women. In it she scrutinized arranged marriage, and leaned towards the era of sentamentalism believing that true love should determine who one marries. Influenced by the abolitionist movements about slavery, she wrote that women are bonded just as the black slaves, and men do not have the rights to restrict women or slaves. This book incited the Seneca Falls Womens Convetion of 1848.

In 1846, Margaret was promoted to the foreign correspondent at the New York Tribune. As a result of traveling across Europe, in 1847 she became involved in the revolution of the unification of Italy and supported socialism. When visiting Rome, she met and married Giovanni Angelo, to later bear his child and marry him the following year. During the French siege in Rome she led one of the hospitals.

They worked on the unification of Italy in 1848, but when the Roman republic was defeated in 1849 the couple fled to Florence. On July 19, 1850 Margaret and her family went on their return trip to America, where they were in a horrible ship wreck off Fire Island, New York. She lived to be only forty years old, and after her death family and friends published her memiors and other writings.



"We only ask of men to remove arbitrary barriers"