In attempting to reconstruct that aspect of ante-bellum America, I shall endeavor to show how and why feminism developed as it did. To this end, I shall include considerations of the traditional nineteenth century attitudes toward women, the key ideas expressed by the feminists as a response to those socially accepted ideas, the way in which the movement operated in its social context, the negative reactions to feminists and feminist thought, and the Southern version of feminism which, as we shall see later cannot be accurately labeled " feminism" if we use (as I have indicated ) the dominant Northern ideology and movement as a standard for defining the term in the first place.