Cable Act (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Revocation of the principle that a woman may automatically assume the citizenship of her husband.
Summary of Event
National laws regulating the acquisition and loss of citizenship fall fully within the sovereign prerogatives of national governments. Certain common rules and procedures have been adopted by various countries, but there remains considerable variation over time and in different countries. This is especially true in regard to the determination of the citizenship status of women who marry foreigners. In many countries, women, upon marriage, automatically lose their original citizenship and assume that of their husband. In other countries, women married to aliens retain their original citizenship unless they specifically renounce it.
The Cable Act of 1922, following closely on the heels of the woman suffrage movement and the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, attempted to rectify the negative effects of earlier legislation that had hampered the independence of women in choosing their citizenship status upon marriage to an alien. To understand exactly what the Cable Act did, it is necessary to review briefly the historical setting in which it was promulgated.
A time-honored tradition of English customary law affirmed the practice of not depriving a female citizen of her citizenship in the event of marriage to a foreigner. This old English...
(The entire section is 1404 words.)
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