Female Entrepreneur, Manufacturer, Trader. Women's Scopes of Action and Appropriation of Spaces, 1786-1859.

There is still a lot to explore in the field of women's and gender history of the Habsburg Monarchy from the Early Modern Era to the beginning of Modernity. The decades before the revolutionary years of 1848/1849 are mainly remembered as a period of political repression and social seclusion and have entered into the historiography under the designations "era Metternich" (1809-1848), "Vormärz" or "Biedermeier" (Congress of Vienna until the 1848). In terms of women's scope of action and in line with bourgeois values there is a persistent belief that women were somehow withdrawn from the public, fulfilling their assigned roles as housewives and mothers in the privacy of the home. Moreover, women were considered to be a homogeneous group and the research focus lay on women of the urban bourgeoisie who served as pars pro toto for her gender. The binary conception of a separate public and private life continues to be effective for the period of study, especially as there are few studies that depict and make women visible in their differentiated social roles. This project addresses the lack of research on this topic on the basis of a variety of sources in an innovative way, by analysing the scope for action of women and the gender-specific appropriations of the public. The chosen research approach focuses on the localization of agency - individual action and negotiation of spaces - which will lead to new empirical findings and gives theoretical-methodological impulses for current research. The research results will be published in the form of peer-reviewed articles in journals (German and English). To reach a broader public, teaching material on 19th century business women will be created for secondary education.