Students of United States history, seeking to identify the circumstances that encouraged the emergence of feminist movements, have investigated the mid-nineteenth-century American economic and social conditions that affected the status of women. These historians, however, have analyzed less fully the development of specifically feminist ideas and activities. Furthermore, the ideological origins of feminism in the United States have been obscured because, even when historians did take into account those feminist ideas and activities occurring within the United States, they failed to recognize that feminism was then a truly international movement actually centered in Europe. American feminist activists who have been described as “solitary” and “individual theorists” were connected to a movement―utopian socialism which was already popularizing feminist ideas in Europe during the two decades that culminated in the first women's rights conference held in New York, in 1848. Thus a complete understanding of the origins and development of nineteenth-century feminism in the United States requires that the geographical focus be widened to include Europe and that the detailed study already made of social conditions be expanded to include the ideological development of feminism. The earliest and most popular of the utopian socialists were the Saint-Simonians. The specifically feminist part of Saint-Simonianism has, however, been less studied than the group's contribution to early socialism. By 1832 feminism was the central concern of Saint-Simonianism and entirely absorbed its adherents' energy; hence, by ignoring its feminism, European historians have misunderstood Saint-Simonianism. Moreover, since many feminist ideas can be traced to Saint-Simonianism, European historians' appreciation of later feminism in France and the United States remained limited. Saint-Simon's followers, many of whom were women, based their feminism on an interpretation of his project to reorganize the globe by replacing brute force with the rule of spiritual powers. The new world order would be ruled together by a male, to represent reflection, and a female, to represent sentiment. This complementarity reflected the fact that, while the Saint-Simonians did not reject the belief that there were innate differences between men and women, they nevertheless foresaw an equally important social and political role for both sexes in their utopia.