Amerikaanse vroue het 70 jaar lank vir stemreg geveg. Dit het WWI geneem om dit uiteindelik te bereik

Amerikaanse vroue het 70 jaar lank vir stemreg geveg. Dit het WWI geneem om dit uiteindelik te bereik



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Helen Dore Boylston was 'n jong Amerikaanse verpleegster wat op die voorste linies van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog gedien het, en daarom was sy geen vreemdeling in chaos nie. Maar die bestendige hommeltuig van honderde motors wat in 1918 na haar hospitaal in Frankryk ry, was anders as enigiets wat sy ooit tevore gehoor het. 'N Lugaanval was aan die gang en die skulpe kom "so laag dat haar hare met elke skreeu regop staan", sou sy later skryf, maar hierdie geluid was iets anders.

Toe sy na die horison kyk, sien sy die bron van die geraas: slegs deur die maanlig word 'n eindelose reeks swart ambulanse verlig wat so ver as wat die oog kan sien slang. Toe die mans wat hulle gedra het, begin aankom, was hul gesigte spookwit en hul wonde gapende en ontbloot. Rye van hulle, verblind deur hul beserings, het aan mekaar vasgehou om regop te bly. Baie van hulle was net tieners, het sy opgemerk.

Dit gaan 'n lang nag wees, maar sy was nie bang nie. Die eenheid van Boylston sou meer ongevalle behandel as enige ander groep Amerikaanse dokters en verpleegsters. Toe die Groot Oorlog later daardie jaar eindig, met 'n ontsaglike 40 miljoen lewens geëis het, was Boylston - wat die rang van kaptein bereik het - radeloos.

“Wat moet ons nou almal doen? Hoe kan ons huis toe gaan na die burgerlike lewe, na die nimmereindigende, nooit wisselende roetine nie? ” Sy het in haar dagboek geskryf. 'En die Tweede-en-twintigste Algemene Hospitaal, die lewensbelangrike lewende wese, versadig met die hoogtes en dieptes van menslike emosie, sal 'n stadig vervaagde herinnering word aan dae toe ons werklik geleef het.

Boylston was een van meer as nege miljoen Amerikaanse vroue wat by die oorlogspoging aangesluit het. Nie almal het eerstehands die oorlogsverwoesting deurgemaak nie - alhoewel baie mense dit gedoen het, het hulle as ambulansbestuurders gewerk wat deur artillerievuur gesukkel het om die gewondes van die slagveld te red of om mediese noodvoorrade aan die voorste linies te lewer. Baie vroue het tuisgebly, maar het as vrywilligers van die Rooi Kruis in munisipale fabrieke gewerk of chirurgiese maskers gestik en gaas. Selfs bibliotekarisse wat vir oorlog gemobiliseer is, bou tydelike biblioteke in kampe wat byna 10 miljoen boeke en tydskrifte aan soldate sou versprei.

In totaal het die aantal Amerikaanse vroue wat by die oorlog aangesluit het, die byna 5 miljoen mans wat in die weermag gedien het, verdwerg.

Die skielike toetrede van vroue tot die oorlog en die openbare lewe het grootliks die sentrale onreg van die Amerikaanse lewe verlig: hoewel hulle in die oorlog geveg en gesterf het, kon hulle nie daarvoor stem nie. Hierdie ironie het gehelp om die stryd om die stemming wat suffragiste al byna 70 jaar lank gevoer het, te kristalliseer.

'Wie verpleeg die gewondes, voed die siekes, ondersteun die hulpeloses, trotseer alle gevaar? Wie sien hoe hul huise deur skulp en vuur vernietig word, hul kleintjies arm, hul dogters woedend? ” lees 'n bord deur die Pennsylvania Women's Suffrage Association. 'Wie durf sê dat oorlog nie hul saak is nie? In die naam van justisie en beskawing, gee vroue 'n stem in die regering en in die rade wat oorlog maak of voorkom. "

Terwyl daar gedebatteer word oor hoe sentraal die Eerste Wêreldoorlog was vir vroue wat stemreg behaal het, sou president Woodrow Wilson self die twee verbind, en noem die stemming van vroue "uiters noodsaaklik vir die suksesvolle vervolging van die groot oorlog van die mensdom waarin ons betrokke is."

President Wilson was aanvanklik gekant teen die stemreg van vroue - maar die oorlog het die publieke opinie beïnvloed

In April 1917 betree die Verenigde State die stryd van die wêreld se eerste groot konflik en verklaar hulle oorlog teen Duitsland. "Die wêreld moet veilig wees vir demokrasie," het president Wilson aan die Amerikaanse volk gesê en sy omstrede besluit aangekondig.

Vir baie suffragiste was dit 'n klap in die gesig. Dit was dekades sedert die stryd om die stemming by die Seneca Falls -konvensie begin het en terwyl vroue in verskeie westerse state die stemming gekry het, het die nasionale geveg gestagneer - deels omdat Wilson daarteen gekant was en geglo het dat die besluit moet gelaat word aan individuele state.

Vroue wat teen die president se opposisie teen stemreg protesteer, het al maande lank elke dag buite die Withuis gepluk en tekens geskenk met boodskappe soos "Meneer die president, hoe lank moet vroue wag op vryheid?" en "Wat sal jy doen vir die stemreg van vroue?"

Maar die land se toetrede tot die Eerste Wêreldoorlog het 'n nuwe stukrag gegee aan hul stryd - een wat die Amerikaanse publiek, en uiteindelik die president self, moeilik kon ignoreer.

'N Paar maande nadat die eerste Amerikaanse troepe by die voorste linies van Europa aangekom het, het die betoger Virginia Arnold 'n bord by die George Washington Universiteit gebring waarin president Woodrow Wilson as "Kaiser Wilson" aangespreek is en hom gevra het of hy vergeet het dat sy simpatie met Duitsers was omdat hulle nie selfregering wanneer daar in werklikheid “20 000 000 Amerikaanse vroue nie selfregering is nie”.

Duitsland word destyds as 'n militêre diktatuur bestuur deur Kaiser Wilhelm II, wat die titel "Opperste Oorlogsheer" geniet en wie se humeur baie die skuld gee vir die uitbreek van die oorlog. Nodeloos om te sê, dit was nie 'n gunstige vergelyking nie.

Wilson sou aan sy dogter skryf dat die suffragiste 'vasbeslote lyk om hul saak so onaangenaam as moontlik te maak'. Ongelukkig vir Wilson was dit ook effektief in 'n tyd toe die meerderheid Amerikaners persoonlik deur die oorlog geraak is en die boodskap van vryheid 'n kragtige regverdiging vir die koste was.

"Wie ontken dat die stemreg van die vrou nie tans 'n geskikte onderwerp is vir bespreking nie, maar 'n noodsaaklike oorlogsmaatreël, is onkundig oor die oorsake wat ons tot die oorlog gelei het en die doelwitte waarvoor ons in die oorlog veg," Carrie Chapman Catt sou die volgende jaar sê en byvoeg dat as dit werklik 'n oorlog vir demokrasie en teen outokrasie was, sou die Verenigde State die helfte van die bevolking beswaarlik kon uitskakel deur hulle die stemreg te weier.

As die simboliek van die oorlog nie genoeg was om die openbare mening ten gunste van stemreg te verswak nie, sou Amerikaanse vroue binnekort 'n ander rede gee, die feit dat hulle ongetwyfeld 'n las gedra het gelyk aan, indien nie groter as nie, die mans om hulle, oorlogspoging.

Miljoene vroue regoor die wêreld het aan die oorlogspoging deelgeneem

"Vroue was deurslaggewend vir die mobilisering van die verdediging van die land," sê professor Lynn Duminel, die skrywer van The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I, tydens 'n lesing oor die onderwerp.

Met 'n tekort aan troepe aan die begin van die oorlog, bestel Wilson 'n konsep vir alle mans tussen 21 en 30 jaar oud. Tien miljoen mans het geregistreer en 2,7 miljoen is opgestel. Teen die einde van die oorlog het meer as 4 miljoen mans in die weermag gedien, en nog 800,000 in ander takke van die militêre diens. Die miljoene vermiste mans het gapings in die Amerikaanse industrie gelaat in 'n tyd toe die land nie 'n bedreiging vir produksie kon waag nie.

As daar nie veel keuse was nie, het Amerikaanse vroue die arbeidsmag ingestroom. Die verandering was skielik en verbysterend en het die lyne ontbind wat eens bestaan ​​het tussen waar vroue wel en nie hoort nie.

By Amerika se spoorweë het mans byvoorbeeld 98 persent van die poste beklee. Die vroue wat teenwoordig was, het agter die skerms gewerk in werk soos skoonmaak of spyseniering. Toe die oorlog begin, is byna die helfte van die spoorwegwerkers van die stryd gewerf, wat beteken dat die spoorweë byna oornag 'n beslis vroulike operasie word. Vroue was skielik hiper-sigbaar en het alles gedoen, van die insameling van kaartjies, bagasie, die skoonmaak van enjins.

Nuwe werkgeleenthede is ook geskep weens die oorlog - werkgeleenthede wat gevul moes word as Amerika by die pas van die oorlog sou bly. Connecticut het tydens die oorlog byna die helfte van die ammunisie van die land vervaardig, en van 1913 tot 1917 het die aantal vroue wat in fabrieke in Connecticut werk, met 105 persent toegeneem as gevolg van 'n groter vraag en 'n verminderde aantal mans.

8 miljoen vroue het vrywilligers van die Rooi Kruis geword wat alles gedoen het, van die naai van chirurgiese verbande tot die werk in kantines.

Dit was nie net mans wat oorlog toe gegaan het nie - baie vroue het ook gevegte gesien. Die Rooi Kruis het 20 000 verpleegsters opgelei om, soos Boylston, in die Amerikaanse weermag te werk. Ander vroue het vir die Heilsleër gewerk, terwyl hulle in en uit die voorste linies vlieg en koffie, doughnuts aanbied en briewe huis toe skryf aan geliefdes.

Toe die vloot nie rekrute kry nie, het vroue 'n wettige leemte gevind wat hulle in staat gestel het om as 'n onderoffisier of onderoffisier te werk, en werk as alles van werktuigkundiges, tot ammunisiewerkers, tot vertalers.

Selfs vir vroue wat nie loonarbeid betree het nie of na die buiteland gegaan het, het oorlog in die daaglikse lewe deurgedring. Hulle is gevra om 'n belofte te onderteken om voedsel in te blik, groente te verbou en luukse items soos vleis en vette uit te sny om die land te help veg.

Ten spyte van die moeilike en dikwels gewelddadige omstandighede, was Boylston nie die enigste een wat bemagtig gevoel het nie. 'Ek dink baie vroue het die oorlog 'n werklik bevrydende ervaring gevind', sê historikus Gail Braybon in 'n dokumentêr oor die oorlog.

Foto's van vroue wat landerye ploeg, as timmermanne werk, as masjiniste wat oorpakke dra, selfs as oorlogskorrespondente in loopgrawe versprei in koerante en tydskrifte regoor die wêreld, wat dit onmoontlik maak om dit te ontken en die idee van waartoe vroue in staat was, op sy kop te draai.

"Vroue was absoluut sentraal in die proses om 'n wêreldoorlog te veg," voeg Duminel by. Suffragiste was van hul kant vasbeslote om nie die land dit te laat vergeet nie.

Dit was nie net Amerikaanse vroue nie. In 1914 het die Duitse militêre toerustingonderneming Krupp byna nul vroulike werknemers gehad; teen 1917 maak hulle byna 'n derde van hul arbeidsmag uit. In 1914 het Brittanje 3,3 miljoen vroue in loonarbeid en teen 1917 het dit tot 4,7 miljoen gestyg.

Die Eerste Wêreldoorlog versterk wêreldwye stemregbewegings

Die massiewe deelname van vroue aan die oorlogspoging het deels gelei tot 'n golf van wêreldwye stemreg in die nasleep van die oorlog. Vroue het in 1917 stemreg in Kanada, in Brittanje, Duitsland en Pole in 1918, en in Oostenryk en Nederland in 1919.

"Die strukture het uitmekaargeval en het mense die geleentheid gebied om dinge te soek waarvoor hulle nie voorheen kon strewe nie," sê Rebecca Mead, professor aan die Noord -Michigan Universiteit. 'Dit was 'n wêreldoorlog, dit was 'n uiters ontwrigtende invloed.

Dit alles, volgens die Amerikaanse suffragiste, het die saak moeilik gemaak om te weerlê. 'Die wêreld verwag dat Amerika getrou aan haar ideale sal wees, om die oorlogsdoelwitte wat sy vir haarself gestel het, na te kom. Vroeë stemreg is onvermydelik, ”het Catt gesê.

Ondanks die destydse retoriek, is daar nog steeds debat onder historici oor hoe sentraal die oorlog was dat Amerikaanse vroue uiteindelik in 1920 stemreg kry.

"Dit verswak of verdoesel al die harde werk wat die vroue dekades na dekades gedoen het, en bly aanhou al het hulle soveel van hierdie stryd verloor", sê Mead oor die stemreg van vroue tot die oorlog.

Verandering was ook aan die gang voor die oorlog selfs begin het: Vroue betree al in 1910 die arbeidsmag en teen die begin van die oorlog het vroue in 11 state reeds stemreg gehad. Die meeste professionele winste wat vroue tydens die oorlog behaal het, is ook herroep sodra dit geëindig het. Mans het teruggekeer en wou terugkeer na normaal, wat beteken dat hulle hul werk moet terugneem en vroue moet terugbring na die huislike lewens wat hulle agtergelaat het.

Tog is die feit dat die oorlog 'n impak gehad het onweerlegbaar.

'Ons sou nie sê dat die oorlog dit verduidelik nie, maar die oorlog laat ons baie skerp daarna kyk,' sê Duminel oor stemreg vir vroue. "Oorlog is 'n teken van verandering."

Toe president Wilson op 30 September 1918, net meer as 'n maand voor die einde van die oorlog, uiteindelik sy steun verleen aan die stemreg van vroue, weerspieël hy die eie taal van die suffragiste na die land.

'Ons het vennote gemaak van die vroue in hierdie oorlog', het hy gesê, 'moet ons hulle slegs toelaat tot 'n vennootskap van lyding en opoffering en moeite en nie 'n vennootskap van voorreg nie?'

Alhoewel dit nog 'n jaar sal neem voordat vroue stemreg kry - en nog dekades meer om vroue van kleur te erken - sal die impak van die oorlog voortduur en sal die lewens van vroue nooit dieselfde wees nie.


LibertyVoter.Org

Helen Dore Boylston was 'n jong Amerikaanse verpleegster wat op die voorste linies van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog gedien het, en daarom was sy geen vreemdeling in chaos nie. Maar die bestendige hommeltuig van honderde motors wat in 1918 na haar hospitaal in Frankryk ry, was anders as enigiets wat sy ooit tevore gehoor het. 'N Lugaanval was aan die gang en die skulpe kom "so laag dat haar hare met elke skreeu regop staan", sou sy later skryf, maar hierdie geluid was iets anders.

Toe sy na die horison kyk, sien sy die bron van die geraas: slegs deur die maanlig word 'n eindelose reeks swart ambulanse verlig wat so ver as wat die oog kan sien slang. Toe die mans wat hulle gedra het, begin aankom, was hul gesigte spookwit en hul wonde gapende en ontbloot. Rye van hulle, verblind deur hul beserings, het aan mekaar vasgehou om regop te bly. Baie van hulle was net tieners, het sy opgemerk.

Dit gaan 'n lang nag wees, maar sy was nie bang nie. Die eenheid van Boylston sou meer ongevalle behandel as enige ander groep Amerikaanse dokters en verpleegsters. Toe die Groot Oorlog later daardie jaar eindig, met 'n ontsaglike 40 miljoen lewens geëis het, was Boylston - wat die rang van kaptein bereik het - radeloos.

“Wat moet ons nou almal doen? Hoe kan ons huis toe gaan na die burgerlike lewe, na die nimmereindigende, nooit wisselende roetine nie? ” Sy het in haar dagboek geskryf. 'En die Tweede-en-twintigste Algemene Hospitaal, daardie lewensbelangrike lewende wese, versadig met die hoogtes en dieptes van menslike emosie, sal 'n stadig vervaagde herinnering word aan dae toe ons werklik geleef het.

Boylston was een van meer as nege miljoen Amerikaanse vroue wat by die oorlogspoging aangesluit het. Nie almal het eerstehands die oorlogsverwoesting in die gesig gestaar nie - alhoewel baie mense dit gedoen het, het hulle as ambulansbestuurders gewerk wat deur artillerievuur geskiet het om die gewondes van die slagveld te red of om mediese noodvoorrade aan die voorste linies te lewer. Baie vroue het tuis gebly, maar het as vrywilligers van die Rooi Kruis in munisipale fabrieke gewerk of chirurgiese maskers gestik en gaas. Selfs bibliotekarisse wat vir oorlog gemobiliseer is, bou tydelike biblioteke in kampe wat byna 10 miljoen boeke en tydskrifte aan soldate sou versprei.

In totaal het die aantal Amerikaanse vroue wat by die oorlog aangesluit het, die 5 miljoen mans wat in die weermag gedien het, verdwerg.

Eerste Wêreldoorlog plakkaat ter ondersteuning van vrouediens, 1917. '

Vroue se skielike toetrede massaal tot die oorlog en die openbare lewe en lees meer


KONSTITUSIONELE REGTE STIGTING Handves van regte in aksie

In 1848 begin 'n klein groepie visionêrs 'n beweging om gelyke regte vir vroue in die Verenigde State te verseker. Maar dit het meer as 70 jaar geneem om die stemreg vir vroue te verkry.

Nadat manlike organiseerders vroue uitgesluit het om 'n konferensie teen slawerny by te woon, het die Amerikaanse afskaffingskenners Elizabeth Cady Stanton en Lucretia Mott besluit om die "First Woman's Rights Convention" te noem. Die byeenkoms, wat in Julie 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, verskeie dae gehou is, het ongeveer 300 vroue en 40 mans byeengebring. Onder hulle was Charlotte Woodward, 'n 19-jarige plaasmeisie wat graag 'n drukker wou word, 'n ambag wat toe vir mans gereserveer was.

Teen die einde van die vergadering het die kongresafgevaardigdes 'n verklaring goedgekeur na die onafhanklikheidsverklaring. Die Seneca Falls-verklaring van gevoelens het begin met die volgende woorde: 'Ons glo dat hierdie waarhede vanselfsprekend is: dat alle mans en vroue gelyk geskape is. . . . ”

Die verklaring het daarna 'herhaalde beserings' deur mans teen vroue gelys en beweer dat mans 'absolute tirannie' aan vroue opgelê het. " Hierdie 'beserings' het ingesluit dat vroue gedwing is om wette te gehoorsaam dat hulle in die verbygaan geen stem gehad het nie. Dit het ingesluit dat getroude vroue in die oë van die wet "burgerlik dood" is, sonder eiendomsreg, lone verdien of die toesig van hul kinders tydens 'n egskeiding. Die beserings het ingesluit dat vroue die meeste 'winsgewende indiensnemings' en kolleges belet word.

Die konvensie het ook gestem oor 'n resolusie wat lui: "Dit is die plig van die vroue van hierdie land om hul heilige reg vir hulself te verseker" om te stem. Hierdie resolusie het heftige debat ontlok. Dit het skaars verbygegaan.

In die middel van die 19de eeu het die meeste Amerikaners, insluitend die meeste vroue, die idee van 'afsonderlike sfere' vir mans en vroue aanvaar. Mans het gewerk en die regering bestuur. Vroue het tuis gebly en die gesin versorg. Hierdie idee was gebaseer op die algemene aanname dat vroue van nature delikaat, kinderlik, emosioneel en geestelik minderwaardig was as mans.

In die Verenigde State en in ander demokratiese lande het die stemreg (ook bekend as die "keusemaatskappy" of "stemreg") uitsluitlik binne die mans "sfeer" gebly. Die Seneca Falls -verklaring bevorder 'n radikale visie van geslagsgelykheid op alle gebiede van die Amerikaanse openbare lewe, insluitend die stemreg van vroue. Vroue in die meeste state het eers in 1919 stemreg gekry nadat hul rol in die Amerikaanse samelewing dramaties verander het.

Susan B. Anthony en die Women's Suffrage Movement

Een van die hoofleiers van die vrouestembeweging was Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906). Sy is grootgemaak in 'n Quaker -gesin en is grootgemaak om onafhanklik te wees en self te dink. Sy het by die afskaffingsbeweging aangesluit om slawerny te beëindig. Deur haar afskaffingspogings ontmoet sy Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851. Anthony het nie die Seneca Falls -byeenkoms bygewoon nie, maar sy het vinnig met Stanton saamgespan om die stryd om vrouestemreg in die Verenigde State te lei.

Die burgeroorlog het aksie onderbreek om die stem vir vroue te verseker. As gevolg van die oorlog het die rol van vroue in die samelewing egter begin verander. Aangesien baie mans baklei het, moes hul vrouens en dogters dikwels die familieplaas bestuur, in fabrieke gaan werk of ander werksgeleenthede neem wat voorheen deur mans gedoen is.

Na die oorlog het Anthony, Stanton en ander gehoop dat omdat vroue bygedra het tot die oorlogsekonomie, hulle saam met die voormalige slawe die stemreg gewaarborg sou word. Maar die meeste mans was dit nie eens nie.

Die Republikeine wat die kongres beheer het, het drie nuwe wysigings aan die Amerikaanse grondwet geskryf. Die 13de wysiging het slawerny afgeskaf. Die 14de wysiging het burgerskap verleen aan alle mense wat in die Verenigde State gebore is en aan elke persoon "gelyke beskerming van die wette" verleen. Die 15de wysiging handel oor stemming. Dit lui: "Die reg van die burgers van die Verenigde State om te stem, mag nie deur die Verenigde State of 'n staat ontken of verkort word nie weens ras, kleur of vorige toestand van diensbaarheid." Dit het versuim om vroue die stemreg te verleen.

In 1869 het Anthony en Stanton die National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) georganiseer om te werk vir 'n federale grondwetlike wysiging, wat alle Amerikaanse vroue die stemreg verseker. Sommige aktiviste het nie saamgestem met hierdie taktiek nie. Hulle het geglo dat die beste manier om die stem vir vroue te kry, was om die wetgewers van elke staat te oorreed om vroue stemreg te gee.

Ironies genoeg was nóg die federale regering nóg 'n staat die eerste plek waarmee Amerikaanse vroue kon stem. In 1869 het die manlike wetgewer van die gebied Wyoming 'n wet aanvaar wat elke volwasse vrou in staat stel om 'haar stem uit te bring. . . en die amp beklee. ” In die Weste het pioniervroue dikwels skouer-aan-skouer saam met mans op plase en boerderye gewerk en sodoende bewys dat hulle nie swak of minderwaardig was nie.

Intussen het Anthony in Rochester, New York, saamgespan met simpatieke manlike stemregistrateurs wat haar en ander vroue in die presidentsverkiesing van 1872 kon laat stem. Die jaar daarna is sy tereggestel weens onwettige stemming, 'n kriminele oortreding. Die regter by Anthony se verhoor het beslis dat sy onbevoeg was om te getuig omdat sy 'n vrou was. Die jurie het haar skuldig bevind en die regter het haar beveel om 'n boete van $ 100 te betaal. Anthony het aan die regter gesê sy sal dit nooit betaal nie. Sy het dit nooit gedoen nie.

In 1875 in die geval van Minor v. Happersett, het die Amerikaanse hooggeregshof beslis dat vroue onder die 14de wysiging burgers was. Maar die hof het verder gesê dat burgerskap nie beteken dat vroue outomaties stemreg het nie.

Die 'Anthony -wysiging'

In 1878 het die NWSA daarin geslaag om 'n grondwetlike wysiging in die kongres voor te stel. Die voorgestelde wysiging lui: "Die reg van burgers van die Verenigde State om te stem, mag nie deur die Verenigde State of deur enige staat ontken of verkort word nie." Dit het bekend gestaan ​​as die 'Anthony -wysiging'.

Terwyl NWSA die Kongres vir die 'Anthony -wysiging' beywer het, het 'n ander voorspraakgroep, die American Woman Suffrage Association, hom toegespits op die beywer vir die stemreg van vroue in state en gebiede. Voor 1900 het slegs 'n paar van hierdie pogings in die westelike gebiede geslaag.

Toe die gebied Wyoming in 1889 om staatskaping aansoek doen, het die kongres gedreig om dit toelating te weier omdat sy wette vroue toelaat om te stem. In reaksie hierop het die territoriale wetgewers aan die kongres geskryf: 'Ons sal honderd jaar uit die Unie bly, eerder as om sonder die vroue in te kom.' Die volgende jaar het die kongres Wyoming toegelaat as 'n staat, die eerste met stemreg vir vroue. Dit het die neiging gestel dat 'n paar ander Westerse state wette oor die stemreg vir vroue sou aanvaar (Colorado, 1893 Utah, 1896 en Idaho, 1896).

In 1890 het die twee nasionale verkiesingsorganisasies vir vroue saamgesmelt om die National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) te vorm met Elizabeth Cady Stanton as president. Susan B. Anthony het in 1892 oorgeneem en president gebly totdat sy in 1900 afgetree het.

In die laat 1800's was die Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) eintlik die grootste nasionale organisasie wat vroue se stemreg bevorder. Die WCTU het 'n "Huisbeskerming" -beweging gelei wat daarop gemik was om 'sterk drank' te verbied vanweë die nadelige uitwerking daarvan op mans en hul gesinne. WCTU -leiers het besef dat vroue moet kan stem om die invloed daarvan te beïnvloed en wetgewers te beïnvloed.

Wit en middelklas vroue het die WCTU, NAWSA en die meeste ander nasionale vrouegroepe oorheers. Die groepe het gewoonlik swart vroue verwerp uit vrees dat hulle wit ondersteuners in die rasse -geskeide Suide sou vervreem. Boonop het die groepe selde immigrantvroue gewerf. Die versuim om alle vroue in die beweging op te neem, terwyl dit polities nuttig was, het die oorsaak ondermyn.

Teen die begin van die 20ste eeu het die kongres sy oorweging oor die Anthony -wysiging laat vaar, en in die state het die meeste pogings om vroue die stemreg te verleen, misluk. Sterk teenkanting van tradisionaliste en drank- en broubelange het tot hierdie nederlae bygedra.

Die rol van vroue het steeds verander

Die konsep van 'n nuwe Amerikaanse vrou het na 1900 ontstaan. Skrywers en kommentators beskryf die 'nuwe vrou' as onafhanklik en goed opgevoed. Sy het lospassende klere gedra, sport beoefen, met 'n motor gery en selfs in die openbaar gerook. Sy ondersteun liefdadigheidsorganisasies en maatskaplike hervormings, insluitend stemreg vir vroue. Sy het dikwels gekies om buite die huis te werk in kantore, afdelingswinkels en beroepe soos joernalistiek, regte en medisyne wat net oop was vir vroue. Die beeld van die 'nuwe vrou' het ook gewoonlik haar blanke, inheemse en middelklas gemaak.

Teen 1910 was 'feminis' 'n ander term wat gebruik word om die 'nuwe vrou' te beskryf. Feminisme verwys na 'n nuwe gees onder 'n paar middelklasvroue om hulself te bevry van die ou idee van 'afsonderlike sfere'. 'N Vroeë feministiese skrywer veroordeel hierdie tradisionele siening van die rol van vroue, aangesien dit hul volle ontwikkeling verhinder en die nasie van hul potensiële bydrae beroof het.

Om buite die huis te werk, was natuurlik niks nuuts vir armblanke, immigrante en swart vroue nie. Hulle het geswoeg as huishoudsters, fabriekswerkers en ander werk om te oorleef. Vroulike fabriekswerkers verdien slegs 'n kwart tot 'n derde van wat mans vir dieselfde werk verdien het. Daar was geen siekdae of gesondheidsvoordele nie. Dit was bekend dat vroue geboorte geskenk het op die vloere van fabrieke waar hulle gewerk het. Aangesien hulle nie stemreg gehad het nie, het hulle min geleentheid gehad om wetgewers te druk om wette te aanvaar wat hul lone en werksomstandighede sou verbeter.

Die laaste stoot vir vrouestemreg

Westerse state het steeds voortgegaan met die toekenning van stemreg vir vroue. Die staat Washington het vroue die reg gegee om te stem in 1910. Kalifornië het gevolg in 1911. Arizona, Kansas en Oregon het die volgende jaar wette aangeneem.

Die presidentsverkiesing van 1912 het die twee groot partye, die Republikeine en Demokrate, gekant teen die stemreg van vroue. Maar die verkiesing van 1912 het twee groot onafhanklike partye gehad, die Progressives (onder leiding van die voormalige Republikeinse president Theodore Roosevelt) en die sosialiste (onder leiding van Eugene Debs). Beide die Progressiewe en Sosialiste het die stemreg van vroue bevoordeel. En hulle het ongeveer 'n derde van die stemme gekry.

Alice Paul was aan die hoof van NAWSA se poging om die Kongres voor te hou om weer die Anthony -wysiging te oorweeg. Paul (1885–1977), grootgemaak as kwaker, studeer aan Swarthmore College en ontvang nagraadse grade in maatskaplike werk. Op reis na Groot -Brittanje ontmoet sy radikale feministe wat stemreg eis. Sy het saam met hulle gegaan in hongerstakings en demonstrasies. By haar terugkeer na die Verenigde State het sy by NAWSA aangesluit.

In 1913 organiseer die 28-jarige Paul 'n massiewe parade in Washington, DC. Vyandige menigtes val die optoggangers aan, wat deur die National Guard beskerm moes word.

Paul en die president van NAWSA, Carrie Chapman Catt, het nie saamgestem oor die gebruik van openbare demonstrasies om stemreg vir vroue te bevorder nie. Catt (1859–1947) het grootgeword in die Midde -Weste, studeer aan die Iowa State College en werk as onderwyser, hoërskoolhoof en superintendent van 'n skooldistrik (een van die eerste vroue wat so 'n pos beklee het) . Sy het onvermoeid gewerk vir vrouesake, en in 1900 is sy gekies om Anthony op te volg as president van NAWSA.

Catt se taktiek was skerp teenstrydig met die van Paul. Sy het verkies om die wetgewers in die kongres en die staatswetgewers stil te steun. Paulus was 'n voorstander van betogings. Beide leiers was egter toegewy aan gelyke regte vir vroue.

In die verkiesing van 1916 ondersteun Catt die demokratiese president Woodrow Wilson. Wilson het op die slagspreuk 'Hy het ons uit die oorlog gehou' gehardloop. Paul het Wilson gekant. Sy geparodieer sy slagspreuk en sê: "Wilson het ons uit stemreg gehou."

Paul het met NAWSA gebreek en die National Woman's Party gestig. Kort daarna organiseer sy die daaglikse optrede van die Withuis om president Wilson te druk om die Anthony -wysiging te ondersteun. Nadat die Verenigde State in 1917 tot die Eerste Wêreldoorlog toegetree het, het Paul voortgegaan om te kies. Die vroue -betogers het stilweg tekens met slagspreuke gedra soos 'Demokrasie moet tuis begin' en 'Kaiser Wilson'. Toeskouers het die kiesers van die Withuis aangerand en hulle verraaiers genoem omdat hulle die president van die oorlog beledig het.

In Junie 1917 het die polisie begin om die plukers vas te trek omdat hulle die sypaadjies belemmer het. Ongeveer 270 is gearresteer en byna 100 is tronk toe gestuur, waaronder Paul. Sy en die ander in die tronk het hongerstakings ondergaan. Wagte het die vroue hongerstakers gevoed deur voerbuise in hul kele vas te druk. Die dwangvoeding is in al die groot koerante berig. In die verleentheid oor die publisiteit het president Wilson hulle vergewe en vrygelaat.

Intussen het vroue mans vervang deur die duisende in oorlogsbedrywe en baie ander soorte werk wat voorheen deur mans beklee is. Teen 1920 het vroue 25 persent van die hele arbeidsmag in die land uitgemaak.

President Wilson was ontsteld dat die druk op stemreg vir vroue verdeeldheid veroorsaak het tydens die oorlog. Hy was ook diep beïndruk deur Carrie Chapman Catt. In Januarie 1918 kondig hy sy steun aan die Anthony -wysiging aan. Teen hierdie tyd het 17 state sowel as Groot -Brittanje vroue die stemreg verleen. Wilson se ondersteuning het gehelp om momentum vir die wysiging op te bou. In die somer van 1919 keur die Huis en Senaat die 19de Wysiging met 'n marge ver bo die vereiste tweederdemeerderheid goed. Dan moes die wysiging deur driekwart van die state bekragtig word.

Diegene wat gekant was teen die stemreg vir vroue, die sogenaamde 'antis', het al hul kragte bymekaargemaak om die bekragtiging te stop. Die drank- en broubedrywe, fabriekseienaars, spoorweë, banke en grootmasjiene het almal gevrees dat vroue vir progressiewe hervormings sou stem. Suid -blankes het beswaar aangeteken teen meer swart kiesers. Sommige het aangevoer dat die 19de wysiging die regte van die staat inbreuk maak. Ander beweer dat dit gesinsenheid sou ondermyn. Boonop, het die "antis" gesê, was vroue reeds by die stembus deur hul mans verteenwoordig.

Maar staat na staat het die wysiging bekragtig. Met 'n laaste staat wat nodig is vir bekragtiging, het die Tennessee -wetgewer oor die wysiging gestem. Die uitslag hang af van die stem van die jongste man in die Tennessee -wetgewer. Hy het vir bekragtiging gestem, maar eers nadat hy 'n brief van sy ma ontvang het waarin hy hom aangespoor het om 'n 'goeie seun' te wees en die stemreg van vroue te ondersteun. Op 18 Augustus 1920 het die helfte van die volwasse bevolking van die Verenigde State dus stemreg gekry.

Vroue het vir die eerste keer landwyd gestem tydens die presidentsverkiesing van 1920. Onder die nuwe kiesers was die 91-jarige Charlotte Woodward, die enigste lid van die Seneca Falls-konvensie. In haar leeftyd was sy getuie van 'n revolusie in die rol van vroue in die Amerikaanse samelewing.

Vir bespreking en skryf

1. Op watter maniere het die rol van vroue in die Amerikaanse samelewing tussen 1848 en 1920 verander?

2. Dink jy dat Alice Paul of Carrie Chapman Catt die beste strategie gehad het om stemreg vir vroue te wen? Hoekom?

3. Waarom, dink jy, het vroue in 1920 stemreg gekry nadat hulle langer as 70 jaar misluk het?

A C T I V T Y
Petisie op president Wilson

In hierdie aktiwiteit sal studente 'n versoekskrif aan president Wilson doen om die Anthony -wysiging te ondersteun.

1. Vorm die klas in klein groepies. Elke groep sal 'n petisie aan president Wilson skryf en argumente noem waarom hy die Anthony -wysiging moet ondersteun.

2. Elke groep moet die artikel hersien om argumente ten gunste van die wysiging te vind. Die groep moet ook teenargumente noem teen die standpunte van die "antis" wat die wysiging gekant het.

3. Elke groep moet slegs die argumente noem op sy versoekskrif waarmee alle lede van die groep saamstem.

4. Elke groep moet sy versoekskrif aan die res van die klas voorlees.

5. Die klaslede moet dan bespreek wat volgens hulle die beste argument was om president Wilson te oorreed om die 'Anthony -wysiging' te ondersteun.


Vroue wen die stemming - geslagsongelykheid bly

Suffragiste marsjeer, waarskynlik in New York in 1915. Foto uit Library of Congress.

Die 19de wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet verleen aan Amerikaanse vroue stemreg op 18 Augustus 1920. Die wysiging word op 26 Augustus 1920 wet nadat Bainbridge Colby, minister van buitelandse sake, die amptelike dokument onderteken het wat die suksesvolle bekragtiging bevestig.

Women suffragists marching on Pennsylvania Avenue led by Mrs. Richard Coke Burleson (center on horseback) U.S. Capitol in background. Mar. 3, 1913. Photo from Library of Congress.

On November 2, 1920, for the first time, more than 8 million women across the U.S. voted in elections. An amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires 2/3 of the states to ratify the amendment. Of note, it took more than 60 years for the remaining 12 states to ratify the 19th Amendment, with Mississippi being the last state to do so on March 22, 1984. (Source: History)

Some of the leading figures of color in the suffrage movement were left to right, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Francis Ellen Watkins Harper, Ida B. Wells, and Mary Church Terrell. Photo by Meghan Smith/Creative Commons. Read more at 5 Essential Black Figures in the Women’s Suffrage Movement”.

The women’s right to vote came two years after the end of World War I. While historians question and debate how central World War I was to women achieving suffrage, it certainly brought the injustice to the forefront.

“Whoever denies that woman’s suffrage is not only an appropriate subject for discussion at this time, but an imperative war measure, is ignorant of the causes which led us into the war and the aims for which we are fighting in the war,” said Carrie Chapman Catt, a leading suffragette and founder of the League of Women Voters, would say the following year. She added that if this was truly a war for democracy and against autocracy, the United States could hardly continue to disenfranchise half its population by denying them the right to vote

Elizabeth Hommowun, current Union Ph.D. student and graduate of the UI&U’s Master of Arts program with a major in Literature and Writing degree, is exploring female experiences during World War I. She asks the following questions: Why has the 21st century entered its second decade with the female narrative of this war staying as static and narrow as it had been 100 years ago? Are we still painting women in certain roles because of gender norms of yesteryear? Are we still mired in ideas from 100 years ago?

Nannie Helen Burroughs (left) was a national leader within the Woman’s Convention of the National Baptist Convention, many of whose members supported women’s suffrage. Burroughs later became part of an important Washington, D.C., network of African American women. Photo from Library of Congress.

Help us to win the vote. Suffragist, “Mrs. Suffern,” holding sign crowd of boys and men behind. 1914. Photo from Library of Congress.

“Here is what articles and books will tell you: Women had a role during The Great War. They had always had a ‘place.’ Women were already a part of the workforce. You would find female police officers patrolling the city hotspots for undesirable behavior. They were continuing to develop the work of the Suffrage Movement,” said Elizabeth. “They were even part of the military. A point of fact is that the female experiences during World War I were as diverse and dynamic as any frontline soldier attempting to survive the conflict.”

In an article by Abigail Higgins titled “American Women Fought for 70 Years. It Took WWI to Finally Achieve It,” she points out that more than nine million women helped with the war effort, outnumbering the almost five million men who served. Women saw combat as nurses, ambulance drivers, and Salvation Army front line runners who delivered hot coffee and refreshments. Women served in the Navy in areas as mechanics, munition workers, and as translators. A staggering eight million women volunteered with the Red Cross. Librarians erected makeshift libraries in camps and distributed nearly 10 million books and magazines.

Elizabeth points out that, “Americans have a fascination with the soldiering aspect of war and women are often not seen as important. Today there are few movies about women in war but we know women are fighting we just do not represent their experiences on the same scale. It’s 2020 and viewers are still drawn to that stereotype.”

Theorist Janet Staiger is helping Elizabeth with how we should remember these women. “Staiger’s work helps me to understand the intersection of film, television, and reception. It’s about exploring how we consume popular media, like television and film, to contextualize or understand historical events. So, if we examine the way in which women are portrayed in stories about war, or the Suffrage movement in this case, what potential message is either being displayed or received by the viewer? It’s important to examine the narratives we consume,” said Elizabeth.

Inez Milholland Boissevain, wearing white cape, seated on white horse at the National American Woman Suffrage Association parade, March 3, 1913, Washington, D.C. Photo from Library of Congress.

As a female scholar, teacher, and citizen, Elizabeth says this is important because we are still grappling with notions of power, gender, and representation. “Here we are, 100 years after women won the right to vote, and there are still gender inequalities to overcome, including the wage gap. It seems obvious to point out, but if all of these years have passed, and there is still work to be done, how could someone suggest that sharing the stories of the women who have gone before us to fight for equality is not important?”

Elizabeth is a Disability Services Coordinator and academic coach at Illinois College. Born and raised in Illinois, she chose Union for her M.A. and Ph.D. because the programs have allowed her to develop as a scholar within her discipline and create learning experiences catered to her research interests. In addition to her doctoral studies at UI&U, she shares her life with her husband Jeremy and puppy Hazel. You can learn more about Elizabeth at LinkedIn.

Editor’s note: The suffrage movement was a decades-long battle that took many years and many people to finally win the right for American women to vote. To learn more:

  • Watch the PBS documentary “The Vote”
  • Go to the History website for historical overviews of the movement.
  • Read “5 Essential Black Figures in the Women’s Suffrage Movement” by Meghan Smith, that points out the conflicting priorities between white suffragists and suffragists of color, many of whom viewed their activism for women’s suffrage as intertwined with their efforts to attain racial justice caused tension within the movement.
  • Visit “The 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative” to learn more and explore the suffragist biography articles.

Learn more about Union Institute & University and the opportunities to complete your degree or start a new career at this link.


A century after women’s suffrage, the fight for equality isn’t over

Women struggled for decades to win the right to vote, but it’s taken even longer for all to be able to exercise it.

“Well I have been & gone & done it!!” Susan B. Anthony wrote to a friend on November 5, 1872.

That day Anthony and her three sisters managed to vote in Rochester, New York. Nearly a century after the nation’s founding, seven years after the end of the Civil War, and two years after the 15th Amendment granted voting rights to African-American men, it was still illegal for most women to vote. Anthony and her sisters had been sure they would be denied. Indeed, that’s what they had hoped would happen. They wanted grounds for a lawsuit.

But Anthony, a well-known and intimidating figure, couldn’t help herself. A few days earlier, she had browbeaten the young officials who were registering voters at a local barbershop into putting the women’s names on the voting rolls. When that proved an unexpected success, she spread the word.

On Election Day, some 15 women in Rochester voted. “We are in for a fine agitation in Rochester,” wrote Anthony to her friend and fellow campaigner Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Although she hadn’t expected to vote, she knew her defiant act would have ramifications.

Two weeks later, the opportunity she’d been aiming for arrived on her doorstep in the form of a well-mannered federal officer. He was there to arrest her.

By that point women had been campaigning to get the vote for decades. They’d begun to question their subordinate role in society, rallied to improve women’s rights within marriage, and called for universal suffrage. They’d ventured beyond the domestic sphere of their homes and neighborhoods, into spaces where no “respectable” women would go, and had spoken in public before mixed crowds, which no respectable women would do. They’d inserted themselves into a political process that made no room for them. They’d insisted on what they believed were their rights as citizens. They’d elevated women’s voting rights to an issue that national politicians could no longer ignore.

And yet, they still had a very long road to travel—a nearly half century–long campaign to press their cause across the country. The 19th Amendment, which decreed that no citizen could be denied the right to vote based on sex, became law on August 26, 1920—a tremendous accomplishment. Some 27 million women became eligible to vote, the largest increase in potential voters in American history. But the victory was incomplete: Because of restrictive state and federal laws such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and ethnic barriers to citizenship, many nonwhite women—African Americans, Native Americans, Latinas, and Asian Americans—still didn’t have access to the ballot. Nor did many nonwhite men, despite the 15th Amendment.

It’s easy to consign the suffragists to the past—to imagine them as severe Susan B. Anthony and fussy Elizabeth Cady Stanton, stiffly posing in a black-and-white portrait or as long-skirted women brandishing quaint banners, demonstrating for something we take for granted. After all, more women now vote than men, nearly 10 million more in the 2016 presidential election. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, is one of the most powerful people in the country. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote for president in 2016, and six women competed to be the Democratic nominee in 2020.

But the past is still with us. My grandmothers were born into a world in which they couldn’t vote. A girl born in the United States today arrives in a country that a woman has never led. Nearly 51 percent of the population is female, but far fewer women hold elected office than men. Efforts to limit who can vote persist. Clinton lost to a man known for sexist behavior, and none of those female presidential candidates made it to the top of the ticket. The campaign for political equality that began in the 19th century shows no sign of being over in the 21st.

The push for women’s suffrage began in 1848 in part because Stanton, a socially active woman from a prosperous and prominent family, was chafing at her circumscribed life. Stanton had moved from Boston to the small town of Seneca Falls, New York, for the health of her husband, Henry, an abolitionist who began leaving her alone with their three sons as he traveled the state agitating against slavery. As much as she loved her children—she would end up having seven—Stanton found the limitations on what women were able to achieve maddening.

“I suffered with mental hunger,” she later wrote.

When Lucretia Mott, a noted Quaker abolitionist, came to the area for a visit, Stanton welcomed the chance to see her. The two had met several years earlier at an antislavery convention in London. Over tea with Mott and a few friends, Stanton “poured out the torrent of my long-accumulating discontent,” she wrote, “with such vehemence and indignation that I stirred myself, as well as the rest of the party, to do and dare anything.”

What they dared to do was organize their own convention, the first to be held on women’s rights in the U.S. They did it quickly, in little more than 10 days, because Mott, the most experienced activist of any of them, would be leaving soon.

The women drafted a “Declaration of Sentiments” to be presented to the convention for approval. Modeled on the Declaration of Independence, the document decried men’s “absolute tyranny” over women, citing grievances that reflected the very limited rights women had in the United States then.

Married women, for example, were “civilly dead” because they did not have legal rights separate from their husbands’, nor could they own property or even keep the wages they’d earned themselves. Colleges were closed to women so were professions. Man, the declaration stated, “has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy [woman’s] confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.”

Appended to the declaration were resolutions that claimed equality for women on many fronts, but Stanton realized that without political power, these positions just amounted to wishful thinking. What women needed was the vote. She added this resolution: “That it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.”

Several hundred people attended the two-day meeting. Roughly a hundred signed the declaration, but many balked at the resolution advocating suffrage. Mott feared that pursuing the vote would “make us ridiculous.” Politics were considered excessively corrupt for women and perhaps, for some, a step too far out of the domestic domain.

But Frederick Douglass, who had fled slavery and founded the North Star antislavery newspaper in nearby Rochester, spoke in support of it. As he wrote in his account of the convention, he believed “if that government is only just which governs by the free consent of the governed, there can be no reason in the world for denying to woman the exercise of the elective franchise.”

The resolution passed, and the campaign for American women’s right to vote had begun.

Eighteen years later, in 1866, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a poet and novelist, took the stage at the Eleventh National Women’s Rights Convention in New York City. The Civil War was over, the Union had won, and now the burning question was how emancipated people would be incorporated into the reunited country. Women wondered whether that solution would include them.

At the meeting, Harper spoke of the injustices she’d experienced as a woman, telling the crowd that when her husband died suddenly, all their property had been taken away from her. She also recounted the wrongs she’d suffered as an African American.

The listeners, most of them white women, gasped when Harper described the brutality she had experienced while traveling by streetcar and train. She impressed upon her audience that for her and many like her, their rights as women and their rights as African Americans could not be disentangled—and that the two causes must be aligned.

“We are all bound up together,” Harper said, “in one great bundle of humanity.”

And, for a time, they were. The seeds for women’s suffrage first grew among the abolitionists, with people such as Mott, Stanton, Douglass, and Sojourner Truth active in both causes. They were united in their wish to be treated as full citizens of the United States. But after the Civil War, the groups fractured over whose rights came first.

What the suffragists wanted was universal suffrage. “No country ever has had or ever will have peace until every citizen has a voice in the government,” Stanton declared. But many states were reluctant to cede their authority over who could vote. So the 14th and 15th Amendments, two of the amendments addressing African-American rights, were drafted to prohibit states from denying the franchise to eligible voters, who were explicitly defined for the first time as male.

Stanton and Anthony refused to support the 15th Amendment because it removed race but not sex as a barrier to voting. Turning away from longtime friends and allies such as Frederick Douglass, Stanton decried granting the franchise to “Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung” rather than to “women of wealth and education,” whom everyone understood to be native-born whites.

Not all white suffragists took that route. Some saw an opportunity in the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868 and granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” That included recently freed slaves. Arguing that citizenship should include the right to vote, hundreds of women, along with Anthony, showed up at the polls in the early 1870s, with uneven results. After her arrest for voting in Rochester, Anthony hoped to take her case to the Supreme Court, but a technicality squashed that plan.

Of all the attempts to exercise the franchise, Virginia Minor’s bid to register to vote in St. Louis proved to be the most significant. When she was denied, the Missouri suffrage leader sued the election official in charge—or rather, her husband sued him because, as a woman, she did not have the legal right to do so. Her case, Minderjarig v. Happersett, made it to the Supreme Court, where the Minors argued that the state of Missouri had violated the 14th Amendment by abridging her privileges as a citizen, which included the right to vote.

The outcome was devastating. The court ruled that “the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon anyone.”

If suffragists’ interpretation of the amendment had been accepted by the Supreme Court, says historian Ellen Carol DuBois, author of Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote, “we ourselves would not be in the situation where states are constantly depriving people of the right to vote, what we call voter suppression.” If Minor had won, it would have set a strong precedent for universal suffrage.

In 1913, Ida B. Wells, a journalist and civil rights leader in Chicago, refused to be shunted to the sidelines. Woodrow Wilson had just been elected president, and Alice Paul, a young militant, organized a large suffragist parade in Washington, D.C., on the day before his inauguration.

Paul, who would go on to lead the National Woman’s Party, was intent on launching a nationwide campaign. In a strategic move with far-reaching consequences, she and other white voting rights activists opted to cultivate the support of southern white women—and to diminish the role of Black women.

Wells had faced off against lynch mobs in Tennessee and founded the first African-American women’s suffrage group in Chicago. She was one of the strongest voices for women’s suffrage in Illinois. But when she arrived in Washington for the parade, she was told she would not be marching with the Illinois delegation. Instead, she could bring up the rear of the procession with other Black women. Sy het geweier.

“If the Illinois women do not take a stand now in this great democratic parade, then the colored women are lost,” she declared. Her voice trembled with emotion and her face was set in lines of grim determination, according to newspaper reports. “I shall not march at all unless I can march under the Illinois banner.”

When the parade began, Wells wasn’t in it. But midway through, she walked out of the crowd and assumed her place among the Illinois women. No one dared remove her. When Illinois opened the vote to women later that year, she led a registration drive among African Americans that eventually helped elect the first Black alderman in Chicago.


Abigail Scott Duniway

Abigail Scott Duniway (1834–1915) was a true pioneer who rose from simple beginnings as an Illinois farm girl to become a nationally known champion of women’s suffrage in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a significant author, and editor and publisher of a pro-women’s rights newspaper.

Well-read, well-informed, and interested in public issues, Duniway was particularly concerned about women’s economic plight. She fought for a woman’s right to own property in her own name and to secure that property from her husband and his creditors. She objected to the moral double standard, early marriages of young girls, and debilitating ‘excessive maternity.’

Vroeë jare
Abigail Jane Scott was born in a log cabin on October 22, 1834, on the frontier of Groveland Township, Tazewell County, in central Illinois, a few miles from Fort Peoria. She was the third of nine children born to Ann Roelofson Scott and John Tucker Scott. She grew up on the family farm and attended a local school intermittently.

In 1852, when Abigail was 17, the Scott family joined the largest migration to Oregon in American history, leaving Groveland on April 2. The eleven members of the Scott party traveled in five ox-driven wagons. Abigail’s mother and youngest brother died along the way, and they lost nearly half of their forty-five cattle and two horses during their six-month journey on the Oregon Trail.

It was a formative experience for Abigail. She kept a journal of the migration and filled it with expressions of joy and wonder at the magnificent landscapes they traversed, as well as with heartfelt sorrow. Duniway’s experiences along the Oregon Trail surfaced time and again in her writing, first in a fictionalized account of the trip, and later in many serialized novels which recount tales of strong pioneer women.

The Scott family arrived in French Prairie in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in October 1852, joining relatives who had preceded them. The Scott family settled near Lafayette, in Yamhill County, Oregon shortly thereafter. In the spring of 1853, Abigail opened a school in Cincinnati (now Eola), near Salem.

Marriage and Family
On August 2, 1853 Abigail married a handsome young rancher, prospector and horseman named Benjamin Duniway, and began life as a pioneer farm wife. The couple settled on his donation land claim in the heavily forested hill country of Clackamas County. They had six children: Clara Belle (born 1854), Willis Scott (1856), Hubert (1859), Wilkie Collins (1861), Clyde Augustus (1866) and Ralph Roelofson (1869).

For nine years Abigail endured the hardships and toil of a farmer’s wife, including five in the ‘Hardscrabble’ region. In 1858, she and her husband bought a farm in Yamhill County, which Abigail dubbed Sunny Hillside.

During this time Abigail Duniway authored Captain Gray’s Company, or Crossing the Plains and Living in Oregon (1859), the first novel to be commercially published in Oregon. This and others she wrote drew repeatedly on her experiences as a young woman on the Oregon Trail.

In the autumn of 1862, in what her biographer calls “the turning point in the Duniway marriage,” the Duniway farm was sold to cover debts after Benjamin endorsed notes signed by a friend who defaulted. The Duniways moved into a small house in Lafayette, where Abigail opened a boarding school and Benjamin took a job as a teamster.

Soon thereafter, Benjamin was permanently disabled when he was run over by a team of horses pulling a heavy wagon, leaving Abigail to support the family. She found that, as a woman, employment opportunities were severely limited. At first, she opened and ran a small boarding school in Lafayette.

In 1865, Abigail sold her school and moved the family to Albany, Oregon, where she taught in a private school for a year. However, the teaching profession paid women only a fraction of what it paid men. She then opened a millinery and notions shop, and built a successful business which she ran five years.

Angered by stories of injustice and mistreatment of women relayed to her by married patrons of her shop, in 1870 Abigail sold her shop and moved the family to Portland, where her husband got a job with the U.S. Customs Service. There she began to campaign for women’s rights in earnest.

Career as a Feminist Author
At the time Abigail began her career, women’s civil disabilities extended far beyond the mere lack of the vote. Married women had no legal existence apart from their husbands. They could not sign contracts, had no title to their own earnings, no right to property, nor any claim to their children in case of separation or divorce.

In Portland in 1871 Abigail Duniway founded The New Northwest, a weekly newspaper devoted to women’s rights, including suffrage: the right to vote and run for office. This weekly newspaper also discussed marriage, divorce, and the general social and economic conditions of frontier women. According to Duniway’s biographer Dorothy Morrison, the paper “supported women’s rights without making them a bore.”

Duniway published the first issue of The New Northwest on May 5, 1871, and within a few years the paper was financially self-sustaining. The boys (Willis, Hubert, Wilkie, Clyde and Ralph) all worked closely with their mother in the publishing business as they grew to maturity – first learning to set type, later writing copy as well. With their help, Duniway continued to edit and publish the paper until 1887.

In 1871 Duniway became acquainted with prominent women’s rights leader Susan B. Anthony. Die Revolusie, a reform newspaper edited by Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, had influenced Duniway to start her own paper. But far more important was the three-month campaign Anthony waged with Duniway in the Pacific Northwest.

Duniway cut her teeth on the lecture circuit during Anthony’s thousand-mile speaking tour of Oregon and Washington in 1871, for which Duniway was business manager and delivered speeches of introduction. She also learned the ins and outs of politics from the veteran suffragist. The pair organized the Washington Woman Suffrage Association while canvassing in Olympia.

Thereafter Duniway’s most treasured goal was to achieve the right to vote for women in the three states she designated as her ‘chosen bailiwick’ – Oregon, Washington and Idaho, the states that had comprised the old Oregon Country. She divided the first twelve years between Oregon and Washington, delivering about 70 speeches in each place every year from 1871 to 1884. In 1883 the Washington legislature passed a measure, drafted by Abigail Duniway, that granted the vote to women.

In 1886, Duniway reported walking five miles every day of the year (except Sunday) to collect subscriptions, writing one hundred pages of manuscript each week, and delivering three to four public lectures per week. She gave speeches throughout northern California and other states (including Illinois, Iowa, Wyoming, Utah, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio) on her way to and from national suffrage conventions, and participated in temperance organizations and women’s clubs.

The January 21, 1886 issue of The New Northwest contained an account of Abigail Duniway’s vigil over the deathbed of her daughter, Clara, who passed away at the age of 31 from tuberculosis, the “plague of the 19th century.” Because all of Duniway’s other five children were sons, she felt the loss of her eldest child and her only daughter most keenly.

In 1887 that Duniway sold The New Northwest and went to Idaho where sons Willis and Wilkie had purchased a ranch in the Lost River Valley in south central Idaho and where her husband was raising horses and cattle. Benjamin’s health was getting steadily worse and they thought that fresh air and country life might help.

Abigail Scott Duniway became the chief advocate for women’s rights and suffrage in the state of Idaho for nearly twenty years her work there, she estimated, involved 140 public lectures and 12,000 miles of travel from 1876 to 1895. As a result of her hard work and that of countless other suffragists, women ‘got the vote’ in Idaho in 1896.

Duniway then returned to Oregon, and revived the suffrage association there. She took a job as editor of The Pacific Empire, a magazine sponsored by suffragists. She did not have to sell subscriptions or advertisements she could instead devote all of her time to writing and trying to further her cause.

Benjamin moved back to the Portland house, his health declining seriously. She had to give up the magazine when his care demanded more of her time. Benjamin Duniway passed away in 1896. A saddened Abigail wrote that not only had he been a devoted husband and father but he had always supported the work for equal suffrage and her part in it.

Throughout this period, Duniway suffered personal setbacks such as poor health, money problems and staunch opposition from some of the most influential men in Oregon. She persisted despite the consistent failure of women’s suffrage referendums on state ballots, and divisions with Eastern suffrage organizations. She actively supported the Married Women’s Property Act which gave Oregon women the right to own and control their own property.

Late Years
Duniway’s relentless work for the cause of women’s rights gave her near legendary status. When the Lewis and Clark Centennial was celebrated in Portland in 1905, it featured an ‘Abigail Scott Duniway Day,’ and contemporaries honored her as the quintessential ‘pioneer mother,’ as well as the ‘Mother of Woman Suffrage.’

Duniway and countless others waged five unsuccessful campaigns for women’s right to vote in Oregon (1884, 1900, 1906, 1908 and 1910). Duniway maintained that the close election in 1900 failed because her brother Harvey Scott, longtime editor of the Oregonian, opposed her efforts. This resulted in a bitter public feud between the two siblings.

During the 1912 Oregon campaign, Duniway’s health was failing. She was confined to a wheelchair, and unable to participate much in the work. When the suffrage amendment finally passed in 1912, Governor Oswald West asked Duniway, who was then 78, to write and sign the Equal Suffrage Proclamation in recognition of her long role in the struggle.

Abigail Scott Duniway was the first woman to register to vote in Multnomah County, and is credited with being the first woman in the state to actually vote.

In 1905, Duniway had published her last novel about the Oregon Trail, From the West to the West, with the main character moving from Illinois to Oregon. Her last publication was Path Breaking: An Autobiographical History of the Equal Suffrage Movement in Pacific Coast States in 1914.

Abigail Scott Duniway died on October 11, 1915 at age 80, and was buried at River View Cemetery in Portland.

Duniway devoted more than four decades of her life to the cause of equal rights for women. With little education, and with responsibility for an invalid husband and six children, Duniway became a social reformer, businesswoman, author, journalist and the first female newspaper publisher in Oregon. Above all, she fought for that one right upon which she believed all improvements of women’s lot in life depended: the right to vote.


The Day Women Went on Strike

O n Aug. 26, 1970, a full 50 years after the passage of the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, 50,000 feminists paraded down New York City&rsquos Fifth Avenue with linked arms, blocking the major thoroughfare during rush hour. Now, 45 years later, the legacy of that day continues to evolve.

Officially sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Women’s Strike for Equality March was the brainchild of Betty Friedan, who wanted an &ldquoaction&rdquo that would show the American media the scope and power of second-wave feminism.

As TIME observed just days before the march, the new feminist movement emerged out of a moment in which &ldquovirtually all of the nation&rsquos systems &mdash industry, unions, the professions, the military, the universities, even the organizations of the New Left &mdash [were] quintessentially masculine establishments.&rdquo The notion of women&rsquos liberation was extremely controversial, and the movement was in its infancy.

Friedan&rsquos original idea for Aug. 26 was a national work stoppage, in which women would cease cooking and cleaning in order to draw attention to the unequal distribution of domestic labor, an issue she discussed in her 1963 bestseller Die vroulike mistiek. It isn&rsquot clear how many women truly went on &ldquostrike&rdquo that day, but the march served as a powerful symbolic gesture. Participants held signs with slogans like &ldquoDon&rsquot Iron While the Strike is Hot&rdquo and &ldquoDon&rsquot Cook Dinner &ndash Starve a Rat Today.&rdquo

The number of marchers exceeded Friedan&rsquos &ldquowildest dreams.&rdquo TIME described the event as &ldquoeasily the largest women&rsquos rights rally since the suffrage protests.&rdquo It brought together older, liberal feminists like Friedan and Bella Abzug with a younger, more radical contingent of women. As Joyce Antler, a historian who participated in the demonstration, told me, many of these women &ldquowere veterans of civil rights marches and anti-war protests of the 1960s. We marched throughout the &lsquo60s and we had faith that this mattered.&rdquo

The day of activism reached beyond New York City, as thousands of feminists across the country coordinated sister demonstrations. A full range of creative, confrontational tactics was on display, as activists infiltrated &ldquoall male&rdquo bars and restaurants, held teach-ins and sit-ins, picketed and rallied, in Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston, Berkeley and New Orleans. One thousand women marched on the nation&rsquos capital, holding a banner that read &ldquoWe Demand Equality.&rdquo In Los Angeles, feminists wearing Richard Nixon masks enacted guerrilla street theater. &ldquoThe solidarity was completely exhilarating,&rdquo Antler recalls.

The organizers of the day&rsquos events agreed on a set of three specific goals, which reflected the overall spirit of second-wave feminism: free abortion on demand, equal opportunity in employment and education, and the establishment of 24/7 childcare centers. Over the next several years, activists would use multiple techniques &mdash from public protest to legislative lobbying &mdash in an attempt to turn these goals into realities.

The women&rsquos movement was most successful in pushing for gender equality in workplaces and universities. The passage of Title IX in 1972 forbade sex discrimination in any educational program that received federal financial assistance. The amendment had a dramatic affect on leveling the playing field in girl&rsquos athletics. Also, feminists made the workforce a more hospitable space for women with policies banning sexual harassment, something the Equal Opportunity Commission recognized in 1980. Women&rsquos participation in college, graduate school and the professions has steadily increased over the past several decades, although a gender wage gap still exists.

In terms of abortion access, activists have also made great strides since 1970, but have suffered serious setbacks as well. In 1973, after legal strategizing by NOW and other reproductive rights groups, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in all fifty states. This was a major feminist victory, but it was also limited, as the decision only protected a woman&rsquos right to terminate during her first trimester of pregnancy, allowing for state intervention in the second and third trimesters. Verder het Roe v. Wade did not address the cost of an abortion, which was high enough to be out of reach for many women. In the years after the decision, backlash to Roe triggered many varieties of legislation that further eroded women&rsquos access to the procedure.

Perhaps the least amount of progress has been made in the area of childcare, which remains prohibitively expensive for many American women. In 1971, Congress passed the Comprehensive Child Development Act, which would have set up local day care centers for children on a sliding scale based on family income, but Nixon vetoed the bill. While President Obama has spoken about making affordable childcare a national priority, there are no current plans to offer government-funded, round-the-clock care in the United States as feminists had initially envisioned. As of 2014, the average annual cost of enrolling in a daycare center for an infant is, in most states, higher than the cost of a public college in that state.

So the long-term results of the Strike for Equality March have been mixed. But in the short-term, the event did accomplish one major goal: it helped make the feminist movement visible. In the immediate aftermath, a CBS poll showed that four out of five adults were aware of women&rsquos liberation, and NOW&rsquos membership grew by 50%. &ldquoThe huge number of marchers, young and old, made a convincing case that this was a movement for everyone,&rdquo Antler explains. In this sense, the event exemplified cross-generational solidarity among women. Today&rsquos intersectional feminist activists hope to build coalitions across race, class, and sexuality as well, as they work to fulfill the unfinished mission of their foremothers.

Historians explain how the past informs the present

Sascha Cohen is a PhD candidate in the history department at Brandeis University, specializing in the social and cultural history of 1970s America.


CELEBRATING WOMEN EARNING THE RIGHT TO VOTE by Mary Mallory

One hundred years ago August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States was ratified, giving all women the right to vote. For more than 70 years, women had fought to gain enfranchisement, and take some power over their own lives. Through steady perseverance, they finally gained the prize.

As early as 1797, the New Jersey Assembly passed a law recognizing women’s right to vote. In 1807 however, the Assembly overturned the right by passing a vote allowing suffrage only by white males. For the next 60 years, women found themselves without enfranchisement in the United States.

Women played an important role during the 1820s and 1830s organizing and popularizing groups like religious movements, temperance leagues, and anti-slavery associations. By the 1840s, many longed for the same rights and opportunities as men, be it voting, owning property, or even controlling their own lives.

Reformers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott invited abolitionist activists - mainlly women - to Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 to discuss women’s rights. The convention came to the conclusion that women should be autonomous individuals in control of their own political and social identities, just like men. They produced a Declaration of Sentiments, reworking the Declaration of Independence, stating, “…all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Civll War halted the group’s momentum, but it returned with a vengeance after the War’s conclusion with the passage of the Fourteenth and Amendments Amendments. The Fourteenth Amendment gave protections to citizens, defined as males, while the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed African American men the right to vote. Women were ignored, and they began demanding universal suffrage at this time.

In 1869, Cady joined with Susan B. Anthony to form the National Woman Suffrage Association fo fight for the adoption of a universal suffrage amendment to the United States’ Constitution. Another group formed the American Woman Suffrage Association to fight for enfranchisement on a state-by-state basis. The two groups merged in 1890 for strength in numbers as they patiently and persistently continued their battle.

For decades the groups circulated petitions, held marches, organized meetings and rallies, and pressured Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, especiallly after the United States Supreme Court turned away their petitions to give them suffrage. The Wyoming Territory gave full voting rights to women in 1869, with women’s groups working state by state to convince men to recognize a woman’s right to sovereignty and citizenship. The State of California itself voted in 1911 to give its women citizens the right to vote.

At the turn of the Twentieth Century, women’s reform groups joined the Suffrage Assocation to achieve not only the right to vote, but greater social reforms across the United States. Greater numbers gave them more power and voice. Within a few years, the movement splintered, with the more moderate National American Woman Suffrage Association working state by state to gain female enfranchisement and promoting the universal suffrage amendment to the Constitution, while the more militant National Woman’s Party picketed the White House, held hunger strikes, and actively fought for their cause.

By Winsor McCay (September 26, 1871 - July 26, 1934) - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress

By 1915, more states began approving women’s enfranchisement, pressuring Congress to act. Women’s suffrage dominated headlines in 1916, as the NAWSA became the nation’s largest volunteer group. Both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 1916 endorsed woman’s suffrage, but only on a state-by-state basis. The NAWSA focused on getting the national suffrage amendment passed, and gained power as women began replacing men in factory positions as they departed to serve in World War I.

President Woodrow Wilson finally proposed the suffrage amendment in 1918 as a war measure, since women were now actively working and supporting the war effort. While it passed the House with one vote to spare, the measure fell short in the Senate, failing again when brought before both houses in 1919.

President Wilson called a Special Session of Congress in spring 1919 to get the amendment passed. Both the Senate and House now ratified the amendment, influencing states to vote their support. As states fell like dominoes one by one towards the required 36, Tennesse provided the ultimate vote when it narrowly approved the Nineteenth Amendment August 18, 1920, making it law across the United States. That November, all American women for the first time could vote in the Presidential election.


Kommentaar

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 18, 2019:

What a great article. I love the action by Harry Burn&aposs mother. Women in men&aposs lives yield great influence, then and now. It&aposs also good that you pointed out differences in definitions of suffragette nd suffragist.

Maria from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on January 14, 2019:

I love this, we as women have come very far. Thanks for sharing this.

Carson Lloyd from Idaho on January 14, 2019:

Really insightful, detailed work here. And an incredibly worthy topic, one we all need to be educated on. Well done.


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