Fans of liberty recently observed the 258th birthday of early feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft, most famous for her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which was published in 1792. Wollstonecraft became a hero to many later writers on liberty who regarded her Vindication as one of the earliest defenses of full civil equality for women in Western history.
The fight for women to become full citizens of modern society required overcoming many legal barriers, but also many cultural beliefs about what roles were reasonable and respectable for women to assume. Learn Liberty’s recent video, featuring historian Thaddeus Russell, highlights how, during the 19th century, capitalism created an environment where women were increasingly free to make their own decisions and chart their own course in life.
For more on the liberating effects of capitalism, listen to Prof. Steve Horwitz discuss his most recent book, Hayek’s Modern Family, with Trevor Burrus and Aaron Ross Powell of the Cato Institute. See also Steve’s discussion last December with his Mercatus Center colleagues Peter J. Boettke, Bobbi Herzberg, and Jayme Lemke.