• unlimited access with print and download
    $ 37 00
  • read full document, no print or download, expires after 72 hours
    $ 4 99
More info
Unlimited access including download and printing, plus availability for reading and annotating in your in your Udini library.
  • Access to this article in your Udini library for 72 hours from purchase.
  • The article will not be available for download or print.
  • Upgrade to the full version of this document at a reduced price.
  • Your trial access payment is credited when purchasing the full version.
Buy
Continue searching

A legacy of care: Hesse and the Alice Frauenverein, 1867--1918

Dissertation
Author: Kara Dawn Smith
Abstract:
Although scholars have considered the role of secular nursing associations in nineteenth-century Germany, they have focused on these organizations through the lens of nationalism and state-building or modernization and professionalization. As a result, the question of religiosity in secular nursing has been left largely unexplored. Focusing on the development of the Alice Women's Association for Nursing ( Alice Frauenverein für Krankenpflege ), which was founded in 1867 in the grand duchy of Hesse, this dissertation examines the ways in which this and similar nineteenth-century women's associations articulated a division between secular and religious forms of nursing, even while they drew on theological traditions associated with liberal Protestantism and on institutional models associated with the Catholic orders and Protestant diaconates. By following the model of the religious motherhouse, these secular Red Cross-affiliated women's associations were also able to provide their nurses with respectability and lifelong security, although adhering to this system meant that the nurses gave up much of their personal freedom. This study also highlights the ways in which nursing during the Kaiserreich continued to combine aspects of volunteerism and professionalism, and calls into question the tendency among nursing historians to view nineteenth-century developments primarily in terms of professionalization. Lastly it considers the relationship of the Alice Frauenverein to the mid-nineteenth century "woman question" (Frauenfrage ), which in large part turned on the lack of employment opportunities for middle-class women.

CONTENTS

ABSTRACT .................................................................................................................................... ii LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS….. .................................................................................................. iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................... iv LIST OF TABLES ....................................................................................................................... viii INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................................1 1. NOTES ON KRANKENPFLEGE: THE STATE OF GERMAN NURSING IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY...........................................................................................................21

2. MOTIVATIONS FOR CARE: PRINCESS ALICE AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A ―SECULAR‖ NURSING ASSOCIATION IN HESSE .................................................................40

i. Religiosity and Royal Philanthropy ............................................................................................41 ii. Founding a Frauenverein ..........................................................................................................50 iii. The Franco-German War ..........................................................................................................64 3. FRAUENVEREIN AND FRAUENFRAGE: THE ―ALICE SOCIETIES‖ AND THE QUESTION OF FEMALE EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT ..............................................77

4. A MODEL OF CARE: THE ALICE-HOSPITAL AND TRAINING SCHOOL FOR NURSES ......................................................................................................................................105

5. CHANGING OF THE GUARD? THE QUESTION OF ―MODERNIZATION‖ AND NURSING REFORM ..................................................................................................................132

6. IMPRESSIONS OF CARE: THE ALICE-SCHWESTERN, WORLD WAR I, AND IMAGES OF THE RED CROSS NURSE ..................................................................................160

CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................185 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................................................................................191

viii

LIST OF TABLES

5.1 German Nurses, 1876-1909 ..................................................................................................147

1

INTRODUCTION

―That it had been my lot to remain single, it is the calling I should have most liked to have followed.‖ 1 This statement, made in 1872 by Princess Alice of Hesse to her friend Florence Nightingale, reflected the princess‘s interest in a vocation that had become increasingly available to women during the nineteenth century. By founding women‘s associations in Hesse and other German states that expressly served the purpose of recruiting and training nurses, Alice and other elites gave their support to a field which grew from a philanthropic movement to an avenue of employment for German women. This dissertation examines the secular nursing activities of the Alice Frauenverein für Krankenpflege (Alice Women‘s Association for Nursing), which was founded in 1867 in the grand duchy of Hesse. While utilizing well-established avenues of philanthropy, the efforts of this organization during the Kaiserreich allowed middle-class, usually single women, the agency to financially support themselves in an area of paid employment which had been previously dominated by religious orders. Though Catholic and Protestant sisterhoods maintained a strong presence in the nursing arena, secular nursing associations like the Alice Frauenverein served as

1 Princess Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine (Princess Alice) to Florence Nightingale, 16 December 1872, in Gerard Noel, Princess Alice: Queen Victoria’s Forgotten Daughter (Norwich, UK: Michael Russell, 1992), 248-249.

2

an attractive alternative for some middle-class women by employing a similar method of care without the requirements of a religious house. 2

The examination of nursing in Hesse as set up under the auspices of the Alice Frauenverein highlights some of the challenges of those in the women‘s movement who sought to address the problem of employment for middle class women. On the one hand, they needed a notion of employment that did not challenge the dominance of men. On the other hand, they needed to provide them with a place to live that did not compromise middle-class notions of respectability. Historically this problem had been solved by sending women to convents, where they could adopt a religious ―vocation.‖ Indeed, Catholic convents and Protestant diaconates flourished during the first half of the nineteenth century. But such options were not acceptable in the context of the liberal, middle-class milieu. By studying the development of the Alice Frauenverein during the Kaiserreich, it is possible to understand the manner in which this and similar organizations articulated a division between ―secular‖ and ―religious‖ forms of nursing, even while they drew on theological traditions associated with liberal Protestantism and on institutional models associated with the Catholic orders and Protestant diaconates. Likewise, this dissertation highlights the ways in which nursing throughout this era continued to combine aspects of volunteerism and professionalism, calling into question the tendency among nursing historians to view nineteenth-century developments primarily in terms of ―professionalization.‖

2 The term ―Protestant orders‖ can be applied in Germany after 1836, when the first order of Protestant deaconesses was founded at Kaiserswerth by Pastor Theodor Fliedner and his wife, Friederike. While Catholic nuns were commonly called ―barmherzige Schwestern‖ or ―Sisters of Mercy,‖ regardless of the actual name of their order, Protestant diaconates in Germany were branches of the motherhouse at Kaiserswerth, which is discussed in further detail in Chapter One.

3

The secular nursing movement was spurred during the 1860s by the impetus of war. In a decade that witnessed such conflicts as the Danish War (1864), the Austro-Prussian War (1866), and the Franco-German War (1870-1871), state women‘s associations were formed throughout Germany, including the grand duchy of Hesse. Led by royal and other elite women and men, the membership of these organizations supported the care of the sick and wounded in times of war and times of peace. Each state‘s Frauenverein, while affiliated with the German Red Cross, maintained a certain level of autonomy and localized its own activities. Nurse training and recruitment was a component for many of these associations. For the Alice Frauenverein, it was the main priority, and had been since the organization‘s establishment in 1867. Nurses, both paid and volunteer, were classified as active members of the association and, in many cases, represented families from Hesse‘s educated middle class that had strong backgrounds in medicine and government service. By considering the ways in which these groups addressed the question of women‘s employment, as well as public health issues, we can better understand the multiple factors that contributed to bourgeois participation in the state women‘s associations and in the occupation of nursing itself. These developments reflected a ―feminized‖ religious and philanthropic ideology that was inherited from patriotic and interconfessional women‘s associations as well as nursing sisterhoods that had developed prior to the 1860s. In examining the Alice Frauenverein, I also question previous assumptions about the professionalization of German nursing. It is no coincidence that nursing was promoted as a profession for middle-class women during the late nineteenth century, and I agree with Kerstin Lutzer and Brigitte Kerchner that the evolution of Red Cross organizations during the Kaiserreich was an important phase in the development of nursing as a form of paid employment

4

for middle-class German women. 3 However, this dissertation embraces the fact that German nursing did not achieve complete secularization and professionalization. Rather, as is shown in the following chapters, nursing was in a state of transition as female activists and nursing leaders, as well as representatives of government and religious groups, sought to define and defend their own nursing models. As a historian, I am interested in gender questions, but especially in the activities of women like the members of the Alice Frauenverein who embraced and employed the gender roles of the nineteenth century rather than necessarily trying to defy them. My intent is not to sanctify the nurses, or the royal and elite women who supported them, but to view their lives on their own terms, much in the way that Ann Taylor Allen has suggested in her study of German feminism. 4 Through this analysis of the Alice Frauenverein in Hesse, I focus on the ways in which nursing provided an avenue of employment of middle class women that allowed them a job without calling traditional gender roles into question. In this regard it came into contact with the debates over the ―woman question,‖ which will be articulated in this study but distanced itself from the more radical demands of feminists, such as suffrage. Previous studies of these types of organizations have focused on their relationship to the state and the promotion of a nationalist ideology. Certainly, the strong connection of patriotic associations (vaterländische Frauenvereine) with the state can be seen through the lens of nationalism and state-building, as Jean Quataert has shown in Staging Philanthropy. There is no doubt that the support of the Landesmutter (Mother of the Country) as well as that of the

3 Kerstin Lutzer, Der Badische Frauenverein 1859-1918: Rotes Kreuz, Fürsorge und Frauenfrage (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer Verlag, 2002), 452ff.; and Brigitte Kerchner, Beruf und Geschlecht: Frauenberufsverbände in Deutschland 1848-1908 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1992), 170.

4 Ann Taylor Allen, Feminism and Motherhood in Germany, 1800-1914 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1991), 240ff.

5

governments of both Land and Reich, was crucial to the development of individual Frauenvereine. Quataert, however, essentially limits her discussion of Red Cross nursing in Germany to wartime nursing and medical war preparation. Viewing these associations through Quataert‘s narrow scope of ―official nationalism‖ and dynastic legitimacy does not provide an overall picture of the ongoing factors that drew Princess Alice and other members of the Alice Frauenverein to support the development of nursing as a field of female employment. 5

Although Quataert is correct in stating that ―dynastic groups in Germany made community welfare and its defense part of newly gendered social obligations‖ during the nineteenth century, she is wrong to assert that the Frauenvereine, while ―drawing on aristocratic leadership…stood apart from the bourgeois women‘s movement.‖ 6 Quataert also neglects the connection between some of the Frauenvereine and the ―reform feminism‖ of the 1860s and 1870s, as was the case for the women‘s associations in Baden, Saxony, and Hesse. Considering that even the Allgemeiner deutscher Frauenverein (General German Women‘s Association, or ADF), the most radical group within the organized women‘s movement at that time, acknowledged the need for an emphasis on the education and employment of middle-class German women, it is important to show that some state associations interacted with the organized women‘s movement, shared some of the movement‘s goals, and could be counted amongst the ranks of ―reform feminists.‖ The Alice Frauenverein was an active member of the Lette-Verband, an organization of German women‘s associations that sought to improve female opportunities for employment and higher education.

5 Jean H. Quataert, Staging Philanthropy: Patriotic Women and the National Imagination in Dynastic Germany, 1813-1916 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001).

6 Quataert, Staging Philanthropy, 9.

6

In her study of the Badische Frauenverein, Kerstin Lutzer has demonstrated that even though the association had backed away from its support of an organized women‘s movement in the mid-1890s, it continued to promote many of the same goals. The efforts of the Badische Frauenverein centered on the employment of middle-class German women in areas such as nursing, education, and social work. Lutzer‘s main argument is that the work of the Frauenverein was successful in Baden because it promoted women‘s employment. Her study puts a great deal of focus on the structure and functions of the Frauenverein itself. While Lutzer‘s work has been helpful for my own study and is certainly well-researched, it does take a relatively broad approach, and misses some of the depth that a specific examination of nursing can provide. 7

The Alice Frauenverein‘s own literature acknowledged that the Badische Frauenverein served as its model. However, it is important to consider the fact that the two organizations were not the same, although they engaged in similar activity. The Badenese association was larger, and it experienced some degree of confessional conflict that was not evident within the Alice Frauenverein. Unlike Hesse, where many of the nurses came from the educated middle classes, the core of the Badenese nursing staff were from rural and servant backgrounds as well as the popular classes (Volksklasse). These factors likely contributed to some of the differences between the two organizations. It is also important to note that after 1895 the Alice Frauenverein was a member of the Prussian-led association of Red Cross institutions, which the Badische Frauenverein refused to join until 1913. The differences in these two associations demonstrate that the goals of the national women‘s associations were determined by local needs, rather than by central direction from Berlin. It also suggests that women responded differently to the call to

7 Lutzer, Der Badische Frauenverein.

7

nurse, and for different reasons. Therefore, a study of another women‘s association, in this case the Alice Frauenverein, has great merit. While Baden‘s Frauenverein served as an umbrella organization for a variety of charitable activities, the Alice Frauenverein focused on the training and recruitment of nurses. When compared with other Red Cross associations, including Baden, it is apparent that a unique characteristic of the Alice Frauenverein was its singular devotion to healthcare and public health planning in peacetime. 8 This was evident in the founding statutes of the organization in 1867, and nurse training and recruitment continued to be its foremost priority. This prioritization by the membership has aided my own approach to the study of the organization in Hesse, although I contextualize it within the scope of other activities of interest to women which were conducted by Princess Alice and the leadership of the Alice Frauenverein. Although I generally agree with Lutzer‘s conclusions, placing the nursing activities of the Alice Frauenverein as my central focus allows me to consider them more closely and to set this analysis firmly within existing nursing historiography. This framework has also guided my study of the Alice Frauenverein and its approach to the German Frauenfrage, the ―woman question‖ which covered a range of women‘s issues involving employment, higher education, and female suffrage during the second half of the nineteenth century. Even those women who did support suffrage, or at least did not oppose it, centered their focus on more immediate concerns facing middle-class women. At the same time, many bourgeois women, even those affiliated with the organized women‘s movement, did not

8 Quataert briefly acknowledges this unique emphasis by the Hessians in Staging Philanthropy, 74. John F. Hutchinson‘s description of discussions by representatives of the International Red Cross societies suggests that this early activity by the Hessian Red Cross likely served as a model for other German Red Cross associations. See Hutchinson, Champions of Charity: War and the Rise of the Red Cross (Boulder: CO: Westview Press, 1996), 99-102.

8

support suffrage at all. For feminist scholars such as Ute Frevert, this would appear to fly in the face of an emancipatory trajectory based in civil equality. Frevert‘s discussion of organized middle-class women is critical of groups that did not have political emancipation as their long- term goal. This is evident through her brief acknowledgement of the Prussian Patriotic Women‘s Association (Vaterländische Frauenverein). Though Frevert‘s feminist analysis does have value for gender historians, this value cannot be acknowledged at the expense of those groups that did not engage in the suffrage debate. 9

Professional organizations for German women emerged in the late 1880s, with the founding of the General German Women Teachers‘ Association. But teaching was a form of employment in which women were in competition with men. Even though this was not the case with nursing, the question of professionalization was still complicated. As Stacey Freeman has observed, most existing work on the subject is based on a male-defined experience. 10 More recently, Barbara Mortimer commented that while medicine ―has been accepted as one of the paradigm professions and its history recognized as an authoritative account of a professionalizing process,‖ some historians have doubted whether it was even possible to situate women within a traditional professional model. 11 These difficulties are not unique to the study of German

9 Ute Frevert, Women in German History: From Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation, trans. Stuart McKinnon-Evans in association with Terry Bond and Barbara Norden (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 1997).

10 Stacey Freeman, ―Medicalizing the Nurse: Professional and Eugenic Discourse at the Kaiserin Augusta Haus in Berlin,‖ German Studies Review 18, no. 3 (1995): 434n. An exception, which Freeman also notes, is Young Sun Hong, ―Femininity as a Vocation: Gender and Class Conflict in the Professionalization of German Social Work,‖ in German Professions, 1800-1950, ed. Geoffrey Cocks and Konrad H. Jarausch (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 232-251.

11 Barbara Mortimer, ―Introduction: The History of Nursing Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,‖ in New Directions in the History of Nursing: International Perspectives, ed. Barbara Mortimer and Susan McGann (New York: Routledge, 2005), 8-9. Mortimer provides a good discussion of this historiography.

9

women, or to nursing, but the fact that nursing was predominantly a female occupation has made it a subject of some interest within nursing historiography. 12

Like Christoph Schweikardt, I agree with Eliot Freidson‘s definition of a profession as ―autonomous or self-directing.‖ 13 I also adhere to Freidson‘s definition of the nurse as ―paramedical‖ or ―paraprofessional‖ because she was subordinate to the doctor‘s function as a professional. 14 As both Schweikardt and Hans-Peter Schaper have described, German nursing during the nineteenth century did show some evidence of Verberuflichung – the standardization of an occupation. 15 In that sense, then, I would describe nursing as an occupation, but as Schweikardt has commented, Verberuflichung suggests a normalization of the occupational field of activity, standardization of training, and the regulation of wages and working conditions. 16

12 See, for example, Katrin Schultheiss, Bodies and Souls: Politics and the Professionalization of Nursing in France, 1880-1922 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001); and Aya Takahashi, The Development of the Japanese Nursing Profession: Adopting and Adapting Western Influences (New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004). Most books on the subject of nineteenth- and twentieth-century nursing in Britain or the United States contain some discussion of the issues surrounding professionalization. For example, see Anne Summers, Angels and Citizens: British Women as Military Nurses, 1854-1914 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1988), 182ff.; and Susan M. Reverby, Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing, 1850-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987). On the professionalization of nursing in Germany, see, for example, Agnes Prüfer, Vom Liebesdienst zur Profession? Krankenpflege als weiblicher Beruf, 1918-1933 (Hagen: Brigitte Kunz Verlag, 1997); and Magadelene Rübenstahl, ―Wilde Schwestern”: Krankenpflegereform um 1900, 2nd ed. (Frankfurt: Mabuse-Verlag, 2003).

13 Eliot Freidson, Profession of Medicine: A Study of the Sociology of Applied Knowledge (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), xv; and Christoph Schweikardt, Die Entwicklung der Krankenpflege zur staatlich anerkannten Tätigkeit im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert: das Zusammenwirken von Modernisierungsbestrebungen, ärztlicher Dominanz, konfessioneller Selbstbehauptung und Vorgaben preussischer Regierungspolitik (Munich: Martin Meidenbauer, 2008), 15-16. 14 Freidson, Profession of Medicine, 57. Freidson supplies a thorough analysis of this idea in Chapter 3, ―The Medical Division of Labor,‖ 47-70. 15 Schweikardt, Die Entwicklung der Krankenpflege, 13-14; and Hans-Peter Schaper, Krankenpflege und Krankenwartung: Tendenzen der Verberuflichung in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Opladen: Leske + Budrich, 1987). 16 Schweikardt, Die Entwicklung der Krankenpflege, 13.

10

These factors were debated by German doctors, nurses, politicians, and religious leaders, to no real conclusion, with the exception of the Staatsexamen, a nursing examination regulated by the Prussian government in 1907 and introduced into the other German states over the next few years. The legislation also recognized nursing schools, such as those operated by the Alice Frauenverein in Darmstadt and Offenbach, which were authorized to administer the examinations. 17

As Thomas Nipperdey and others have noted, the Vereine - political, professional, and cultural - were the fabric of German middle-class life. 18 David Blackbourn and Geoff Eley have pointed out that although many of these bourgeois associations were ―notionally open to all,‖ the organizations tended to be dominated by a ―narrow elite.‖ A certain level of education was needed to participate, and many became ―socially closed bodies which developed patterns of ritual, hierarchy, and narrow control which echoed those of the churches, courts, and aristocracies against which they had once tilted.‖ 19 In their response to the idea of a German Sonderweg, Blackbourn and Eley have made a good argument that the middle-class Germans, male and female, conducted a ―silent‖ cultural revolution during the nineteenth century, largely through their participation in associational life. 20

Certainly, the Vereine were an important element of the German public sphere after 1830. Women‘s associations, or Frauenvereine, were directed by men or by a board of men and

17 Schweikardt, Die Entwicklung der Krankenpflege, 138ff.

18 Nipperdey showed that the Vereine formed the cultural sphere of bourgeois life. See Nipperdey, Gesellschaft, Kultur, Theorie: gesammelte Aufsätze zur neueren Geschichte (Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1976), 174-205.

19 David Blackbourn and Geoff Eley, The Peculiarities of German History: Bourgeois Society and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Germany (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), 224.

20 Blackbourn and Eley, The Peculiarities of German History, 195-205 and 221-229.

11

women, and were usually based in philanthropic activities. A collection of essays edited by Rita Huber-Sperl describes similar women‘s organizations in other Western European countries, as well as the United States. 21 Aside from a few ―patriotic‖ associations which continued to operate after the Wars of Liberation, most of these philanthropic organizations were confessional. During the mid-nineteenth century, Catherine Prelinger has argued, the hegemony of these ―orthodox‖ women‘s groups was threatened by ―radical‖ women whose goal was to transform philanthropy into social reform by expanding and secularizing higher education for women as well as ―feminizing and de-confessionalizing‖ early childhood education. 22

In his study of nineteenth century bourgeois feminism, Richard J. Evans acknowledges that middle-class German feminists merged their moral and political goals, but he argues that the movement originated with a commitment that was more political in nature. 23 Barbara Greven- Aschoff anchors the origins of the bourgeois women‘s movement in the natural rights ideology that inspired female revolutionaries in 1848, and suggests that the attention of middle-class women‘s groups to varying moral and educational concerns kept them from forming a politically unified front. 24 While Evans and Greven-Aschoff are right to point to the influence of natural rights philosophy on the women‘s movement, Prelinger‘s point is also well-taken: bourgeois feminists inherited the legacy of a mid-nineteenth century feminist agenda that had developed

21 Rita Huber-Sperl and Kerstin Wolff, eds., Organisiert und Engagiert: Vereinskultur bürgerlicher Frauen im 19. Jahrhundert in Westeuropa und den USA (Königstein im Taunus: Ulrike Helmer Verlag, 2002). Huber-Sperl argues that German women‘s associations had fewer freedoms during the first half of the nineteenth century than those in the United States. See Huber-Sperl, ―Organized Women and the Strong State: The Beginnings of Female Associational Activity in Germany, 1810-1840,‖ Journal of Women’s History 13, no. 4 (Winter 2002): 81-105. 22 Catherine Prelinger, Charity, Challenge and Change: Religious Dimensions of the Mid- Nineteenth-Century Women’s Movement in Germany (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987), ix. 23 Richard J. Evans, The Feminist Movement in Germany, 1894-1933 (London: SAGE Publications, 1976). 24 Barbara Greven-Aschoff, Die bürgerliche Frauenbewegung in Deutschland, 1894-1933 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1981), 13-21.

12

within a predominantly religious environment, especially those groups which formed as a part of the radical theological movements of the 1840s, such as German Catholicism (Deutschkatholizismus) and the Friends of Light (Lichtfreunde). 25

Although few studies have been devoted specifically to the study of nursing, general women‘s histories have occasionally included some information about midwives or nurses. These works are also helpful for an introduction to the study of bourgeois women regarding issues of class, family and employment. 26 The first real comprehensive study of women in modern Germany, however, is Ute Frevert‘s Women in German History: From Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation. In studying liberal progressive actions and determining the effectiveness of the bourgeoisie for the women‘s movement, Frevert emphasizes the difficulties caused for working-class women by their bourgeois counterparts, who might otherwise have been their allies in a push for female emancipation. 27 Frevert provides some discussion of legal and political factors (the Prussian Civil Code and the revolutions of 1848/49, for example) but focuses mostly on social issues such as marriage, education, and employment. 28 She also gives some information about the associations involved in the women‘s movement, such as the ADF and the Lette-Verein, but the comprehensive nature of the work does not allow for more than a

Full document contains 223 pages
Abstract: Although scholars have considered the role of secular nursing associations in nineteenth-century Germany, they have focused on these organizations through the lens of nationalism and state-building or modernization and professionalization. As a result, the question of religiosity in secular nursing has been left largely unexplored. Focusing on the development of the Alice Women's Association for Nursing ( Alice Frauenverein für Krankenpflege ), which was founded in 1867 in the grand duchy of Hesse, this dissertation examines the ways in which this and similar nineteenth-century women's associations articulated a division between secular and religious forms of nursing, even while they drew on theological traditions associated with liberal Protestantism and on institutional models associated with the Catholic orders and Protestant diaconates. By following the model of the religious motherhouse, these secular Red Cross-affiliated women's associations were also able to provide their nurses with respectability and lifelong security, although adhering to this system meant that the nurses gave up much of their personal freedom. This study also highlights the ways in which nursing during the Kaiserreich continued to combine aspects of volunteerism and professionalism, and calls into question the tendency among nursing historians to view nineteenth-century developments primarily in terms of professionalization. Lastly it considers the relationship of the Alice Frauenverein to the mid-nineteenth century "woman question" (Frauenfrage ), which in large part turned on the lack of employment opportunities for middle-class women.