Publication Details

Crozier-De Rosa, S. M. (2013). The national and the transnational in British anti-suffragists’ views of Australian women voters. History Australia, 10 (3), 51-64.

Link to publisher version (URL)

History Australia – Monash University


The issue of woman suffrage, and the unevenness of its development worldwide, provoked much heated discussion in the early twentieth century. In Britain women were campaigning – often violently – for the vote, while in the antipodes women already had at least the national vote. This paper looks at national and transnational aspects of this debate as it was played out in the pages of the British Anti-Suffrage Review. It looks at how conservatives in the British metropole were compelled to articulate, even reformulate, their sense of national and imperial identity in light of the existence of the Australian woman voter. It also uses a written exchange between travelling Australian suffragist, Vida Goldstein, and her British male correspondent to demonstrate how Australian feminists – despite taking advantage of the opportunities offered to them through imperial networks – did not necessarily feel compelled to articulate their sense of identity or belonging in imperial terms. On the contrary, Goldstein insisted on a national identity based on values at odds with those of her imperial counterparts; values drawn from a non-British, wider ‘new’ world.