That Time American Women Lost Their Citizenship Because They Married ForeignersRoundup
tags: womens history
Tanya N. Ballard is an editor for NPR.org.
In March of 1907, Congress passed the Expatriation Act, which decreed, among other things, that U.S. women who married non-citizens were no longer Americans. If their husband later became a naturalized citizen, they could go through the naturalization process to regain citizenship.
But none of these rules applied to American men when they chose a spouse.
"It's as though she walks under his umbrella. He puts his arm around her and poof! she's a citizen," says Linda Kerber, a professor who teaches gender and legal history at the University of Iowa. "She has had the good sense to come out from these monarchies and opt for an American. She's a sensible woman, we adore her."
"Whereas an American-born woman who marries a foreign man, oh my goodness, she is disloyal," Kerber said.
When Mackenzie v. Hare — a case challenging the expatriation act that involved a woman married to a British citizen — reached the Supreme Court in 1915, the justices upheld the law, arguing that the women chose to marry knowing this was a consequence so they weren't being forced to expatriate. Then World War I began and hundreds of women found themselves affected by the law. ...
comments powered by Disqus
- Congress Has a History of Legislating in Secrecy
- At James Madison’s home, slaves’ lives matter as much as the man who owned them
- Destroying Great Mosque of al-Nuri 'is Isis declaring defeat'
- At Watergate, Recalling a Burglary That Toppled a President
- Hidden Trove of Suspected Nazi Artifacts Found in Argentina
- Researcher: "Actually, Yes It Is a Discovery If You Find Something in an Archive That No One Knew Was There."
- The Trump team is obsessing over Thucydides, the ancient historian who wrote a seminal tract on war
- Historians defend scholar who studies Poland and Holocaust
- Max Boot Says "Donald Trump Is Proving Too Stupid to Be President"
- Historians called on to write books that impact the public