Bellamy Nationalism

From Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz -- Online Notes For The Book

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This Note discusses general sources on Bellamy Nationalism, including its influence on Clara Foltz.


General Sources

Bellamy Nationalism has been much studied. See the annotated bibliography by NANCY SNELL GRIFFITH, LOOKING BACKWARD, 1988-1888: ESSAYS ON EDWARD BELLAMY 210 (Daphne Patai ed., 1988). Two biographies of Edward Bellamy describe the success of the book and the wide variety of reforms embraced by the movement that grew out of it. ARTHUR E. MORGAN, EDWARD BELLAMY 264 (1944) and SYLVIA E. BOWMAN, THE YEAR 2000: A CRITICAL BIOGRAPHY OF EDWARD BELLAMY (1958). Bowman also wrote EDWARD BELLAMY ABROAD: AN AMERICAN PROPHET’S INFLUENCE (1962) (reporting a significant following in twenty-nine countries). ARTHUR LIPOW, AUTHORITARIAN SOCIALISM IN THE UNITED STATES: EDWARD BELLAMY AND THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT (1982) is an important work which is more critical than celebratory of the movement; he emphasizes the radical collectivism of many Nationalistic reforms, including judicial system reforms and public defense. EVERETT W. MCNAIR, EDWARD BELLAMY AND THE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT 217-20 (1957) is especially useful because of his detailed quotation of contemporary newspapers. See also, THEODORE W. FULLER, SAN DIEGO ORIGINALS: PROFILES OF THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS OF CALIFORNIA’S FIRST COMMUNITY 145-46 (1987) (noting that Foltz presided over the local Nationalist Club described as “a short-lived movement to socialize basic industry”).

JOHN L. THOMAS, ALTERNATIVE AMERICA: HENRY GEORGE, EDWARD BELLAMY, HENRY DEMAREST LLOYD AND THE ADVERSARY TRADITION (1983) places Bellamy’s life and work in its full historical context, rooted in Protestant millennialism and Jacksonian-era ideas about the virtues of those who perform actual work. HOWARD H. QUINT, THE FORGING OF AMERICAN SOCIALISM 72-103 (1953) (noting the relationship of Nationalism to later socialistic aims); see especially the Chapter entitled "Bellamy Makes Socialism Respectable"; F.I. Vassault, Nationalism in California, 15 OVERLAND MONTHLY 660 (June 1890). John Hope Franklin, Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement, 11 NEW ENG. Q. 739, 762 (1938) discusses Bellamy’s approval of state publication of school texts and regulation of grain elevators as steps to nationalism. Elizabeth Sadler, One Book’s Influence, Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward”, 17 NEW ENG. Q. 530 (1944) sums the story of the contemporary reception of the book around the time of Morgan’s biography, though it is not a review.

On where Nationalism fits in the larger nineteenth-century political scene, see ROBERT WEIBE, THE SEARCH FOR ORDER, 1877-1920 (1967) and ROBERT C. MCMATH JR., AMERICAN POPULISM: A SOCIAL HISTORY (1993). See also On-Line Bibliographic Note: Nineteenth Century Politics (Bellamy Nationalism and Populism). Contemporary critics criticized Nationalism for its failure to focus on a single set of reforms. See e.g. NICHOLAS PAINE GILMAN, SOCIALISM AND THE AMERICAN SPIRIT 195 (1900) (noting that Bellamyism was little more than an “invitation to the sentimentalists to come to the front and take charge…”); Francis Walker, Mr. Bellamy and the New Nationalist Party, 65 ATLANTIC MONTHLY 248 (1890) (an economist disapproving Bellamy’s proposed elimination of competition).

The size of the movement is unclear partly because it was organized in local clubs. In 1890, one estimate was 127 clubs in 27 states. Willard, News of the Movement, 7 CAL. NATIONALIST 2, (June 1890), quoted in ARTHUR E. MORGAN, EDWARD BELLAMY 264 (1944). Another estimate put the number of clubs at 165. 1 CAL. NATIONALIST 16 (May 24, 1890). By most accounts, Nationalism failed because its followers were too diverse to form a party or fix a platform. Yet the movement had a significant afterlife, especially in California, where the People’s Party took up Nationalism’s various causes, and then itself melded smoothly into twentieth-century Progressivism; for more on this see On-Line Bibliographic Note: Progressivism, Suffrage and Public Defense, at WLH Website.

Women and Bellamy Nationalism

On women’s involvement in Bellamy Nationalism, especially that of the Socialist women, see MARI JO BUHLE, WOMEN AND AMERICAN SOCIALISM 1870-1920, at 77-81 (1981); see also, Franklin Rosemont, Bellamy’s Radicalism Reclaimed, in LOOKING BACKWARD 1988-1888, at 173-74 (Daphne Patai ed., 1988) (mentioning involvement of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, Caroline Severance, and Mary Livermore); William Leach, Looking Forward Together: Feminists and Edward Bellamy, 2 DEMOCRACY 120, 122, 129, & 133-34 (1982) (listing a number of feminists involved in Nationalism); BARBARA LESLIE EPSTEIN, THE POLITICS OF DOMESTICITY 142-43 (1981) explains Frances Willard’s involvement with Bellamy Nationalism and her efforts to bring the WCTU into the socialist camp.

Clara's Activism

On Clara Foltz’s activism, see ARTHUR E. MORGAN, EDWARD BELLAMY 267 (1944) (relating that the San Diego Nationalist club included “‘two millionaires and that celebrated lady lawyer, Mrs. Clara Foltz,’” and that Nationalism was making “‘a great impression on the newspapers and on current thought…’”); THEODORE W. FULLER, SAN DIEGO ORIGINALS: PROFILES OF THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS OF CALIFORNIA’S FIRST COMMUNITY 145-46 (1987) (noting that Foltz presided over the local Nationalist Club described as “a short-lived movement to socialize basic industry”); THE RUMBLE OF CALIFORNIA POLITICS, 1848-1970, at 100-01 (Royce D. DelMatier, Clarence F. McIntosh, & Earl G. Waters eds., 1970) (Foltz’s part in Nationalism) [hereafter, RUMBLE].

For Foltz’s ideas about parole, see Chapter Three and the On-Line Bibliographic Note: Late Nineteenth Century Politics (Foltz as Reform Lobbyist), at WLH Website, which explain how her ideas were connected to her Bellameyite beliefs in the malleability of the human character. Nationalism probably also contributed to her concept that imprisonment was for the purpose of rehabilitation and should end as soon as that occurred. Chapter Seven shows in detail the connection of her public defender proposal with Nationalism Bellamy’s idea of public defense as an interim reform on the way to Utopia. For the connection of Bellamy Nationalism with Theosophy, see On-Line Bibliographic Note: The Woman’s National Liberal Union Convention, at WLH Website.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Gilman’s major non-fiction work, WOMEN AND ECONOMICS (1898) was published under the name of her first husband, Stetson, whom she had earlier divorced. She remarried in 1900 to George Houghton Gilman and continued to write books, and from 1909-1916, she published a feminist magazine, The Forerunner, in which she serialized her novel, HERLAND, about an all-woman utopia. KARL DEGLER, NOTABLE AMERICAN WOMEN (Gilman entry) is the best short summary of her life and thought. PHILIP ETHINGTON, THE PUBLIC CITY, has a section on Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Political Mobilization of Women at pages 355-63 that describes her political organizing in San Francisco in the 1890’s. CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN: A NONFICTION READER (Larry Ceplair ed., 1991) is an excellent account of her life and thought, along with well-chosen excerpts from her writings. Other important works on Gilman include: ANN J. LANE, TO HERLAND AND BEYOND (1990); MARY A. HILL, CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN: THE MAKING OF A RADICAL FEMINIST 1860-1896 (1980); Marion K. Towne, Charlotte Gilman in California, 28 PAC. HISTORIAN 5 (1984); GARY SCHARNHORST, CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN: A BIBLIOGRAPHY (1985).

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