Countless women, many of them involved in civic improvement clubs, enlisted in the suffrage movement as they became frustrated at their inability to secure such reforms through indirect influence or lobbying alone. Middle-class reformers such as Jane Addams, founder of the famous settlement house, hull house, in Chicago and Florence kelley, executive secretary of the national Consumers league, were strong supporters of woman suffrage. And labor leaders including Rose Schneiderman, labor organizer and speaker with the womens Trade Union league, and Agnes Nestor, President of the International Globe workers Union, worked hard for suffrage as a means of achieving improved conditions for workers. Many working-class women joined the movement, welcomed by middle-class leaders such as Harriot Stanton Blatch (who had objected to the nawsas society plan) who worked to unite women of all classes into a revitalized suffrage movement. As opponents were quick to point out, many socialists supported woman suffrage, though some socialists who were more radical in approach including Emma goldman thought it foolish to expect that much progress would come from female enfranchisement. As in the case of temperance and suffrage, however, the idea that women would support Progressive reforms provoked opposition: industries that stood to lose from Progressive reform, such as the cotton textile industry of the south, joined the liquor industry as formidable opponents of woman.
Essay - women's Suffrage - teaching Womens Rights From
They also reached out to the new generation of college-educated women, many of them professionals, reminding them that their opportunities were owed to the pioneers of the womans movement, and challenging them to take up the torch. The movement profited greatly from the new ideas and energy of younger leaders such as maud wood Park and Inez haynes Irwin who formed the college Equal Suffrage league, and Mary hutcheson Page of Massachusetts and Harriot Stanton Blatch (the daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton). Blatch also organized the Equality league of Self Supporting Women (1907 later called the womens Political Union. The nawsa right also expanded its educational efforts, distributing literature to schools and libraries, sponsoring debates, disseminating a new and less radical image of their movements own history in which Anthony was virtually canonized. But particularly after Catt resigned in 1904 (owing to the illness of her husband) and. Anna howard Shaw inherited the presidency of the nawsa, the de-centralized nawsa provided little in the way of a national political strategy. Between 18, no new states good were won for woman suffrage; only six state campaigns were attempted and all of them failed. There were, however, considerable grounds for optimism in 1910. The Progressive movement, which began around 1900 at the grassroots level and swept both national political parties, was proving to be a tremendous boon to the cause of woman suffrage. In all sections of the United States, men and women who supported Progressive reforms (including pure food and drug legislation, protection for workers, an end to child labor, and legislation to curb political corruption) believed that womens votes would help secure such reforms.
The nawsa spent considerable time and resources developing this southern strategy, sending Catt and Anthony on speaking tours through the region, and holding the 1895 nawsa convention in Atlanta; at the insistence of their southern hosts they even asked their aging hero Frederick douglasswho was. By 1903, however, it was clear that this southern strategy had failed; the regions politicians refused (in the words of one mississippi politician) to cower behind petticoats and use lovely women to maintain white supremacyand found other means to do so that did not involve. Despite the fact that white suffragists largely turned their backs on them in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and, in the south, excluded them totally from white suffrage organizations, a growing number of black women actively supported woman suffrage during this period. Following a path blazed by former slave sojourner Truth and free blacks Harriet Forten Purvis and Margaretta forten who spoke at antebellum womens rights conventions, and Massachusetts reformers Caroline remond Putman and Josephine. Pierre ruffin who were active in the awsa in the 1870s, black women persevered in their advocacy of woman suffrage even in these difficult times. Prominent African American suffragists included Ida wells-Barnett of Chicago, famous as a leading crusader against lynching; Mary Church Terrell, educator and first president of the national Association of Colored Women (nacw and Adella hunt Logan, tuskegee faculty member, who, in articles in the Crisis, insisted. Nevertheless, white suffrage leaders, who either shared the nativism or racism endemic to turn-of-the-century America or were convinced they must cater to it in order to succeed, continued in their attempts to shed the movements radical image and enlarge their constituency. From the late 1890s to around 1910, in a period historians once described as the doldrums of the woman suffrage movement, the nawsa went through a major period of rebuildingin regard to membership as well as image. Under the leadership working of Carrie chapman Catt, president from 1900 to 1904, the nawsa began successful efforts to recruit large members of socially prominent and politically influential women (the society plan) and to convince the growing numbers of middle and upper-class women involved in womens.
This new approach included shedding the traditional association of womens rights with the rights of blacks. Indeed, though the nawsa never stopped using natural rights arguments for woman suffrage, white summary suffragistsstill indignant that black men were enfranchised ahead of them and angry at the ease with which immigrant men were enfranchiseddrifted away from insistence upon universal suffrage and increasingly employed racist. The new nawsa strategy included building support in the south. There the historic connection between the womans movement and antislavery made suffrage anathema to the white conservatives who once again controlled the region and made advocacy of woman suffrage quite difficult for the influential white women the nawsa wished to recruit. In the 1890s, however, with laura Clay of Kentucky as intermediary, nawsa leaders went to great lengths to, in Clays words, bring in the south. Using a strategy first suggested by henry Blackwell, northern and southern leaders began to argue that woman suffragefar from endangering white supremacy in the southcould be a means of restoring. Indeed, they suggested, the adoption of woman suffrage with educational or property qualifications that would disqualify most black women, would allow the south to restore white supremacy in politics without having to disfranchise black men and risk congressional repercussions.
At the instigation of younger suffragists, the movements aging pioneers put aside their differences sufficiently to merge their rival organizations into the national American Woman Suffrage Association (nawsa). Elizabeth Cady Stanton was elected President; Lucy Stone, head of the Executive committee; and Susan. Anthony, vice President; but it was Anthony who actually took command of the new organization. (She became president officially in 1892 and remained in office until 1900). While continuing to demand a federal amendment, nawsa leaders concluded that they must first build support within the states, winning enough state suffrage amendments that Congress would approve a federal amendment and three-fourths of the states would be sure to ratify. Though Stanton continued to address a wide range of feminist issues, many of them quite radical (including her indictment of Christianity in her 1895 The womans Bible most nawsa leaders including Anthony thought it imperative that the movement focus almost exclusively on winning the vote. In keeping with the new approach and influenced by the conservatism of new recruits, the suffragists went to great lengths to avoid association with radical causes.
One woman, One vote: Rediscovering the women's Suffrage
One theory was that frontier conditions undermined traditional gender roles and that women, having proven their ability to conquer difficult conditions and do mens work, were rewarded with the vote. Another theory was that the politicians hoped that women voters would help to civilize the west. Most historians stress practical politics as opposed to advanced ideology as the explanation, arguing that western politicians found it expedient to enfranchise women for a variety of reasons. In Utah, for example, mormons hoped that the votes of women would help tip the balance of power in their favor in their ongoing power struggle with the non-Mormon population, consisting largely of miners, railroad construction workers, cowboys, and prospectors, who tended not to have. For whatever reasons, these four western states were the only states to adopt woman the suffrage in the nineteenth century. The next round of state victories did not come until 1910, and these were also in the west (Washington, 1910; California, 1911; Oregon, 1912; Kansas, 1912; and Arizona, 1912). Meanwhile, the suffrage movement won a valuable ally when Frances Willard, as president of the womans Christian Temperance Union, led thousands of otherwise quite traditional women to endorse woman suffrage as a way of protecting the home, women and children.
Following its official endorsement in 1880, the wctu created a department of Franchise under Zerelda wallace and. Anna howard Shaw (later president of the nawsa) which encouraged state wctu chapters to endorse suffrage and distributed suffrage literature. Though Willard was a member of the awsa and invited Anthony to speak before the wctu, the temperance organizations work for woman suffrage was particularly valuable in creating support for suffrage among women who might have considered the existing suffrage organizations and their leaders eccentric. The wctu endorsement, however, gained for the suffrage movement a powerful opponent when the liquor industry concluded that woman suffrage was a threat to be stopped at all costs. Indeed, nawsa president Carrie chapman Catt later referred to the liquor industry as the Invisible Enemy and believed that its corrupt manipulation of American politics long delayed the coming of woman suffrage. One of the most important turning points in the history of the woman suffrage movement came in 1890 as the two national suffrage organizations reunited in one major organization.
These included the use of the courts to challenge their exclusion from voting on the grounds that, as citizens, they could not be deprived of their rights as protected by the constitution. Victoria woodhull, a beautiful, radical, and iconoclastic figure who briefly gained the support of Stanton and Anthony in the 1870s (before her scandalous personal life and advocacy of free love were revealed at great cost to the movement made this argument before congress in 1871. In 1872, susan. Anthony attempted to vote, hoping to be arrested and to have the opportunity to test this strategy in the courts; she was arrested and indicted for knowingly, wrongfully and unlawfully voting for a representative to the congress of the United States. Found guilty and fined, she insisted she would never pay a dollar.
Virginia minor, a suffrage leader. Louis, succeeded in getting the issue before the United States Supreme court, but in 1875 the court ruled unanimously that citizenship did not automatically confer the right to vote and that the issue of female enfranchisement should be decided within the states. Even as the nwsa and the awsa competed for support and tried several strategies for winning female enfranchisement to no avail, woman suffrage was making headway in the west. Indeed, while most eastern politicians were dead set against woman suffrage, politicians and voters in several western states enfranchised women and, at times, battled Congress for the right to. In 1869 wyoming led the nation in the adoption of woman suffrage while still a territory; in 1890, when it appeared that Congress would not approve its application for statehood as long as the state allowed woman suffrage, the legislature declared we will remain out. Even the mormon stronghold of Utah enacted woman suffrage as a territory in 1870 and came into the union with woman suffrage in 1896. Colorado (1893) and Idaho (1896) were the other pioneering suffrage states. Historians differ as to the reason the west was so precocious in its adoption of the woman suffrage.
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Indeed, the pdf womans rights movement divided acrimoniously in 1869 largely over the warming issue of whether or not to support ratification of the fifteenth Amendment. Two women suffrage organizations were founded in 1869, with different positions on the fifteenth Amendment and different ideas about how to best promote woman suffrage. The national Woman Suffrage Association (nwsa) headed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan. Anthony opposed the fifteenth Amendment, but called for a sixteenth Amendment that would enfranchise women. Led exclusively by women, the new York-based nwsa focused upon the enfranchisement of women through federal action, and adopted a more radical tone in promoting a wide variety of feminist reforms in its short-lived journal, revolution. Lucy Stone led the other organization, the American Woman Suffrage Association (awsa) with the aid of her husband Henry Blackwell, mary livermore, julia ward Howe, henry ward beecher, Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Thomas Wentworth Higginson and others; it endorsed the fifteenth Amendment while working for woman. While supporting a federal amendment for female enfranchisement, this organization concentrated on developing grass roots support for woman suffrage by forming state-level organizations; and, working through its organ, the womans journal, the awsa tried to make woman suffrage and other feminist reforms seem less radical. In the 1870s, disheartened by the response to the proposed federal amendment, suffragists also tried other approaches to winning the vote.
With the belief that intense physical or intellectual activity would be injurious to the delicate female biology and reproductive system, women were taught to refrain from pursuing any serious education. Silently perched in their birdcages, women were considered merely objects of beauty, and were looked upon as intellectually and physically inferior to men. This belief in womens inferiority to men was further reinforced by organized religion, which preached strict and well-defined sex roles. The woman suffrage movement, which began in the northeastern United States, developed in the context of antebellum reform. Many women including Sarah and Angelina Grimke, abby kelly, lucretia mott, and Lucy Stone began speaking out for womans rights when their efforts to participate equally with men in the great reform movements of the dayincluding antislavery and temperancewere rebuffed. These early feminists demanded a wide range of changes in womans social, moral, legal, educational, about and economic status; the right to vote was not their initial focus. Indeed, those present at the seneca falls Convention regarded the resolution demanding the vote as the most extreme of all their demands, and adopted it by a narrow margin at the insistence of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick douglass. After the civil War, womens rights leaders saw enfranchisement as one of the most important, perhaps the most important of their goals. They were extremely disappointed when the fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments did not provide universal suffrage for all Americans, but extended the franchise only to black men.
for women to vote did not include a declared national war, it was nevertheless, a fierce battle fought primarily by determined female soldiers. Even though the women s suffrage movement started long before the civil war, it was the ratification of the fifteenth Amendment that set a precedence for human equality. This precedence was the antecedent that women needed to become more aggressive and increasingly vociferous, which ultimately led to their right to vote. Like other suffrage movements, it was the strong leaders that ensured that the battle for women s rights would in their favor. In the early nineteenth century, women were considered second-class citizens whose existence was limited to the interior life of the home and care of the children. Women were considered sub-sets of their husbands, and after marriage they did not have the right to own property, maintain their wages, or sign a contract, much less vote. It was expected that women be obedient wives, never to hold a thought or opinion independent of their husbands. It was considered improper for women to travel alone or to speak in public.
Many once considered these beliefs about how life should and must be lived outlandish. But visionaries whose steadfast work brought about changed minds and attitudes fervently held these beliefs. Now these beliefs are commonly shared across. The woman s Suffrage movement in the 1800s Suffrage is the right or exercise of the right to vote in public affairs. The freedom of an individual to express a desire for a change in government by choosing between competing people or ideas without fear of reprisal is basic to self-government. Any exclusion from the right to suffrage, or as it is also called, the franchise, excludes that person from a basic means for participation in the political decision-making process. In the United States at the time the constitution was written, it is estimated that only six percent of the adult male population was entitled to vote.
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History Of The women s suffrag Essay, research Paper. History of The women s Suffrage movement in America. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, its the only thing that ever has. That was Margaret meads conclusion after a lifetime of observing very diverse cultures around the world. Her insight has thesis been borne out time and again throughout the development of this country of ours. Being allowed to live life in an atmosphere of religious freedom, having a voice in the government you support with your taxes, living free of lifelong enslavement by another person.