Western Civilization Proposal, I Would Like To Research Proposal

Length: 2 pages Subject: History - Israel Type: Research Proposal Paper: #50761283 Related Topics: Western Civilization, Magna Carta, Henry Viii, Civilization
Excerpt from Research Proposal :

¶ … Western Civilization proposal, I would like to research Golda Meir. Meir's life is interesting not only in and of itself, but is also remarkable altogether for its astonishing symbolic associations. Meir shows us (as we perhaps already knew) that the historical bias within Western Civilization that stereotypes women as "the weaker sex" has never really been accurate. There is a long history both mythographically and historically which does permit women a role in both warcraft and statecraft: the Classical tradition offers warrior goddesses such as the Greek Athene and the Roman Bellona, while the Old Testament includes enough vignettes of tough and bloodthirsty women, such as Jael, who assassinates the enemy general Sisera by hammering a tent-peg through his skull. Historically there have been a number of female war leaders as well: Boadicea in Roman-era Britain and Zenobia in the Roman-era Middle East both led successful military uprisings against a centralized imperial power; Saint Joan of Arc would lead a similar military uprising almost a thousand years later; and to use an example whom Golda Meir resembles in certain crucial and fascinating respects, we have the example of Elizabeth the First of England as both political and war leader. Elizabeth the First and Golda Meir were both political (and ultimately...


If we were to date the existence of the modern British state not to the Magna Carta but to Henry VIII's break with Roman Catholicism, then Elizabeth's reign falls about the same length of time after Henry's that Golda Meir's leadership of Israel did in history of the Israeli state (founded in 1948). Both Elizabeth I and Golda Meir would end up taking on a tremendous symbolic importance within their own nascent states, partly as actual leaders, but partly with a symbolic afterlife that outlasted their own tenures as female heads of state.

Yet Meir was also important in terms of the political traditions of Western Civiliation -- those Greek and Roman ideals of representative government, which would be picked up again in the West in the Englightenment, and were an influence on the nascent state of Israel emerging from the long period of Zionist agitation and struggle. Meir would re-enact the same dramas that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the American colonies or the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen in revolutionary France when she was one of the original twenty-four signatories (and only two women) who would sign Israel's 1948 Declaration of Independence. The symbolism was greater because Meir had come to Israel originally from America. To some extent Meir's…

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