Award Date

5-1-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

History

First Committee Member

Maria R. Casas

Second Committee Member

Joanne Goodwin

Third Committee Member

David Tanenhaus

Fourth Committee Member

Anita T. Revilla

Number of Pages

290

Abstract

This dissertation investigates how the laws of marital naturalization/expatriation, namely the Citizenship Act of 1855, the Expatriation Act of 1907, and the Cable Act of 1922 and its amendments throughout the 1930s, impacted the lives of women who married foreigners, especially in the American West, and demonstrates how women directly and indirectly challenged the practice of marital naturalization/expatriation. Those laws demanded women who married foreigners take the nationality of their husbands depending on the race of women and their husbands, making married women’s citizenship dependent on that of their husbands. Particularly under the Expatriation Act of 1907, all American women who married foreigners lost their U.S. citizenship by the mere fact of marriage. This, in particular, negatively affected women in the West, where international and/or interracial marriage was not uncommon and U.S. citizenship was closely tied not only to suffrage but also to land ownership and employment. By examining various issues women faced as a consequence of losing U.S. citizenship, this dissertation reveals what it meant for American women to lose formal U.S. citizenship, even if it was only second-class citizenship, and how gender, race, class, and the nationality of married couples complicated the idea of U.S. citizenship.

Keywords

20th Century; American West; Homestead; Japanese immigrants; Marriage; Women

Disciplines

Gender and Sexuality | Law | United States History | Women's Studies

Language

English


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