Author Date


Degree Name





David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Dr. Jeff Hardy

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Wade Jacoby

Honors Coordinator

Dr. Heather Belnap


Europe, midwife, United Kingdom, Russia, midwifery


The purpose of this project is to analyze the changes made in midwifery policy and practices in the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom from 1920-1950. The changes made were essentially the following in both countries: required state certification, standardization of pay and schooling, and combating tradition in rural areas. Although they made similar changes, their political ideology and rhetoric was significantly different from one another. The rhetoric used in the Soviet Union in discussing midwifery policies and responsibilities was nationalistic while the rhetoric used in the United Kingdom was much more functionalistic. There were also additional political and societal factors that affected the changes in the United Kingdom that were not present in the Soviet Union. The thesis of this paper is that in order to fully understand what is occurring in the midwifery fields in both of these countries, one must acknowledge and examine both the differences and the similarities. These findings show that these countries, on the surface, varied greatly. However, the similarities in actual policies show that there are human and state needs that transcend ideological differences. The data for this paper has been collected from archives and journals, in addition to secondary sources. This paper challenges the idea that different governments with different ideologies must implement vastly different types of political policies and reforms. This project will contribute to the understanding that society has of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union from 1920-1950, both in relation to each other and their individual histories.


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