Another legacy of nineteenth century migration

A long time ago I went down an internet rabbit hole while researching the use of Linux in education in Latin America, and instead came up with something else entirely – a story of the legacy of Anglo Irish migration to Latin America in the 1800s.

Well today I’ve just come across something similar.

A news article I was reading about inflation in Argentina was illustrated with a picture of the new 2000 peso banknote

Like many banknotes around the world it has images of historical personages on it, usually ones who are conveniently dead.

I noticed that one of the pictures was named as Cecilia Grierson, which is not a Spanish name, but one that screams ‘Scottish heritage’.

Cecilia Grierson was in fact a pioneer of women’s health and the first woman in Argentina to graduate from medical school.

She graduated from Buenos Aires medical school in 1889. To give that context the date is a little before Iza Coghlan and Grace Robinson, the first women to graduate in medicine from the University of Sydney, and five years before Marion Gilchrist became the first women to graduate from medical school in Scotland.

All these women were strong characters. Some were active feminists, some were not, but all campaigned for improvements in healthcare.

And it is important to realise that they were all part of a movement towards women’s emancipation around the world.

Historians have an understandable tendency to focus on the Anglophone world. But by doing so we tend to forget that one of the legacies of the large scale migration from Europe in the nineteenth century, was not just the movement of people, but also the spread of ideas.


About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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