Neither woman felt comfortable leading such a convention. Over women and men were on hand to formulate The Declaration of Sentiments which was a rewrite of the Declaration of Independence to include women and to list the improvements these delegates wanted. The most controversial was the right to vote.
It passed in the convention because of the support of Frederick Douglass and Stanton. This document was then widely circulated and became the list of demands for which women agitated. Anthony began in when Anthony joined the movement for woman's rights.
Immediately, these two women became friends and remained so until their deaths. According to Rossi, they were very different people: Stanton was married with seven children, while Anthony remained single. Stanton was a gifted writer who often wrote speeches for Anthony to deliver. Because of her marriage and childrearing responsibilities, Stanton was unable to travel extensively in support of woman's rights. Anthony became the chief advocate and most visible symbol. Andrea Kerr argues in her essay that Stanton and Anthony receive the most credit for furthering the suffrage movement, and yet Lucy Stone was crucial to its success.
Stone was vital to the early movement but she ran into disagreement with Anthony and Stanton over the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. Following the Civil War, these amendments defined citizenship and provided voting rights for all men. Anthony and Stanton denounced them and called for their defeat since women were not included.
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According to Kerr, Stone believed that after black men got the vote, it would be easier for women to achieve it, too. Kerr argues that historians usually attribute the split to disputes over direction of suffrage, whether to push for the federal amendment which Stanton and Anthony urged or campaign for states to expand the electorship to include women which Stone supported. Kerr contends that dispute over the amendments was the true split. She further states that Stone's direction was the most sound and Stanton and Anthony came to accept that by the late s, which facilitated a reconciliation of the two organizations by The west was an area where women first received the right to vote.
Essay #3: The Nineteenth Amendment
In her essay, Beverly Beeton argues that the frontier-like setting of the west contributed to this trend. She contends that women "proved" their worthiness for the vote through their hard work and determination in conquering the west. However, there were other reasons suffrage was extended.
In Wyoming, male leaders believed that voting rights for women would gain the new state publicity and additional settlers. In Utah, Mormon leaders felt voting rights for women would ensure support for polygamy in their state.
Mormon women's votes, combined with those of their husbands, would guarantee a Mormon stronghold in Utah. The novel aspects of this book, however, are the essays which illustrate the diversity of the suffrage movement. And Sherry Katz looks at socialist women's contribution. In all four essays, it is apparent that white, middle-class women were not the lone supporters of suffrage.
It is also clear that these same middle-class women distanced themselves from those who were not of their class, race or political persuasion. Rather than being inclusive, suffrage leaders discouraged any involvement with black women, working-class women, or socialists. Instead, they actively recruited members of their own class. It would be easy to claim that white women "achieved" suffrage, but that would ignore black women who formed suffrage associations.
These women argued that they needed the vote because they suffered from discrimination as women and as blacks. Therefore, these women worked for their own enfranchisement and the reenfranchisement of black men who were kept from the polls. The working class were also ignored by suffrage leaders. Yet Harriot Stanton Blatch furthered their inclusion in the movement and adopted some working-class tactics like open air meetings and parades to publicize suffrage. Socialist women were in a double bind.
Male socialist leaders criticized them for worrying about the vote when they should be focusing on liberating all workers, and suffrage leaders spurned socialist women who wanted to be involved. To socialist women, the vote was an economic necessity for women who would be able to vote to protect their jobs and families. According to Thurner, these women believed that the vote would rob them of their objectivity, their nonpartisanship. In addition, voting rights would "diffuse woman's energies" and separate them from the female organizations which had been so successful p.
The book concludes with a look into the ratification of the 19th Amendment and women's political activism in the s. According to Nancy Cott, the s was not a decade of inactivity by women, as some historians argue, but rather a period when women continued to strive for improvement in their lives. The new League of Woman Voters worked to educate women about their responsibilities as voters.
But more importantly, Cott argues that women's role in voluntary organizations remained strong, illustrating that women did not abandon each other once suffrage was achieved. The struggle for women's suffrage is an important piece in the puzzle of American history. For those familiar with history and newcomers too, this anthology provides valuable information and interesting anecdotes about this important movement.
Marjorie Spruill Wheeler adeptly weaves the essays together in a logical way which, on the one hand, illustrates the process toward suffrage, while on the other hand allows for in-depth reading on various subjects. Why, for example, did it take until May, , for women in Kuwait to finally achieve their full voting rights in their national elections? It is commonly believed that female suffrage was desired and fought for only in England and the United States.
By exploring the following topics, this essay attempts to help rectify the narrow and unexamined view of female suffrage. Cooperation between women of various nations gave each the resources they needed to overcome their marginalisation in the politics of their own nations. Improvements in transportation facilitated like-minded women and men to attend international gathering where they met and organized.
Parliaments have stopped laughing at woman suffrage, and politicians have begun to dodge! World-Wide Temperance Movement: Perhaps no other cause helped the women suffrage movement as much as temperance.
When Willard saw the link between women voting and temperance, and encouraged her membership to work for the vote, the WCTU leadership skills and organizational resources everywhere provided an enormous boast to sometimes flagging suffrage causes. Socialists were bent on organizing working class women. Since bans against female party membership existed within most traditional political parties, Socialists, having to organize women separately from men, managed to create successful female oriented movements in some countries.
Most Socialists went beyond civic issues to link suffrage to a fundamental challenge to gender relations.
German Socialists, for example, demanded sexual emancipation and more control for women within their families as well as the vote. Socialist tactics also influenced militant suffragism after the s. Groups in other nations imitated the British, such as the suffragettes in Argentina and the United States. The League of Nations and United Nations: The establishment of these international bodies significantly forwarded the goal of universal female suffrage.
In a Commission on Women was established, and the Convention of the Political Rights for Women was adopted in Inter-regional and Pan-national Organizations: Region specific coalitions also strengthened individual movements. Although Latin American women participated in several inter-American and European conferences, they had more success when they formed supportive alliances within the South American continent.
And, although the founded Inter-American Commission of Women at first was driven by North American issues, it increasingly geared itself to the needs of Latin American women. By the s, the Commission had become an almost exclusively Latin American organization. As an example, women in India by the end of the nineteenth century were forming their own organizations. International Council of Women, Berlin, In most cases women won the right to vote in uneven stages. Full suffrage occurs when all groups of women are included in national voting and can run for any political office.
New Zealand in was first. Signed by close to one quarter of the female adult population, the petition was the largest of its kind in New Zealand and other western countries.
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It is comprised of sheets of paper, all glued together to form one continuous roll metres long, with the signatures of over 10, adult women. A few Maori women signed, but at this time they mainly were concerned with achieving political participation rights for the whole tribe. The New Zealand breakthrough sent ripples throughout the world.
New Zealand women suffrage supporters were invited to many countries to visit, lecture, and even join in demonstrations.
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In Europe, Finland, Norway and Iceland were among the first to grant female suffrage. Even though suffrage movements in the United States were large and vigorous in the early twentieth century, it took women there seventy-two years from first claiming the franchise in to achieving it in French suffragists, however, throughout the early part of the 20th century faced opposition from politicians, many of whom were Socialists who feared women would support Catholicism and right-wing political conservatism.
French women won the vote as late as French women, nonetheless, fared better than the Swiss. In colonized countries, women demanded the right to vote not just from stable republics, but from colonial powers.