Changes in American life during the Industrial Revolution • Division between work and home
The “cult of true womanhood” portrayed the ideal woman as “pious, pure, domestic, and submissive.”
The demand for women suffrage emerged in the first half of the 19th century from within other reform movements. Education for women
Mary Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, and Margaret Fuller believed that giving women an equal education to that of men would do more to improve women’s position in society than voting rights.
Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Bloomer attended the New York Men’s State Temperance Society meeting while wearing short hair and bloomers.
The radical abolition movement had the greatest impact on women’s rights.
Women in the abolition movement recognized parallels between the legal condition of slaves and that of women.
Participation in the Anti-Slavery movement helped women develop public-speaking and argumentative skills that carried over into the women’s rights movement. Clarina Irene Howard Nichols, Abolitionist and First Feminist of the Kansas Territory
Both white and black women were excluded from full membership in the American Anti-Slavery Society until 1840. Women responded by forming their own separate female auxiliaries—by 1838, over 100 existed.
“What if I am a woman? . . . Females [should] strive by their example, both in public and in private, to assist those who are endeavoring to stop the strong current of prejudice that flows so profusely against us at present.” Marie Stewart, 1833 Marie Stewart, early African-American abolitionist speaker
The Grimké sisters, nationally prominent abolitionists, connected the inequalities of women, both white and black, with slavery. Angelina and Sarah Grimké
“. . . We are placed very unexpectedly in a very trying situation, in the forefront of an entirely new contest—a contest for the rights of women as a moral, intelligent, and responsible being. . . . It is a woman’s right to have a voice in all the laws and regulations by which she is to be governed.” Angelina Grimké, 1838
1840: The World Anti-Slavery Society denied women delegates the right to speak.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton attended the 1840 Anti-Slavery Convention and her experience led her into the struggle for women’s rights. "We resolved to hold a convention as soon as we returned home, and form a society to advocate the rights of women."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott met in 1848 to organize a convention to promote “the social, civil, and religious rights of women.”
“. . . The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. . . . He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise. He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she has no voice. . .” Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Declaration of Sentiments The first signatures on the Declaration of Sentiments.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution added “male” to its definition of eligible voters—women would need another amendment explicitly granting them the franchise.
The demand for woman suffrage presented a vision of independent women that seemed to threaten social structures.
The Seneca Falls Convention was the “birthplace of the women’s rights movement.”
Two new demands: 1848: New York passed a Married Woman’s Property Act—other states followed. But calls for divorce reform were less successful.
Before the Civil War, black and white men and women worked together for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. Frederick Douglass demanded the vote for women in 1848.
War, and the Reconstruction that followed, split the Women’s Rights movement.
Impact of Reconstruction: • Radical Republicans demanded black male suffrage—but not universal suffrage for all adults. • To enfranchise women, black and white, would give the vote to large numbers of white Southern women, who would probably vote Democratic.
Both Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were furious that Congress had given the vote to black men but denied it to women. This image made the point that, in being denied the vote, respectable, accomplished women were reduced to the level of the disenfranchised outcasts of society.
Black male suffrage v. Universal adult suffrage • National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) • Founded by Anthony and Stanton • The more radical woman's suffrage group. • Accepted only women and opposed the Fifteenth Amendment since it only enfranchised African-American men. • American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) • More moderate in its views than the NWSA. • Allowed men to join and rallied behind the Fifteenth Amendment as a step in the right direction toward greater civil rights for women. • Leaders of the AWSA included Julia Ward Howe and Lucy Stone.
When the two groups reunited in 1890, the new National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) followed the direction set by Anthony and Stanton.
A New Argument for Women’s Suffrage • The nation needed women voters because of their special moral leadership. Blanche Ames, Two Good Votes Are Better Than One, Woman’s Journal (October, 1915)
A New Argument for Women’s Suffrage • Female voters could “sweep out the scoundrels” • Female voters could ensure that reforms in child labor, temperance, and women’s work would occur. • Only a woman who was truly a citizen could teach citizenship to her children.
Suffrage supporters began to adopt the class and race prejudices of their white, middle class base. “The enfranchisement of women would insure immediate and durable white supremacy, honestly obtained.” Belle Kearney
Overt racism expressed by many suffragists created an atmosphere hostile to the participation of black women. Some African-American suffragistsfounded their own separate suffrage associations.
The initial success of the post-Civil War suffrage movement came on the frontier. Women voting in Wyoming, 1869
The second Western territory to grant women the vote was Utah, in 1870. Emmeline Wells and other Mormon suffragists in Utah.
After 1890, increasing competition among political parties made women’s suffrage a hot political issue.
Between 1900 and 1920, the woman suffrage movement modernized, adopting new tactics of lobbying, advertising, and grass-roots organizing under the leadership of Carrie Chapman Catt. Carrie Lane Chapman Catt (1859-1947), women's suffrage leader
1913: Illinois became the first state east of the Mississippi to grant women the vote.
Growing opposition fostered a sense of impatience among women who had waited over 50 years since the Seneca Falls Convention for the vote.
Alice Paul and Lucy Burns gave a new direction to the women’s rights movement. In 1913, Paul and Burns organized the National Woman’s Party (NWP), adopted the radical tactics of the British suffragettes, and campaigned for the first Equal Rights Amendment. Alice Paul (1885-1977), women's suffrage leader
The Women’s Party was one of the first groups in the United States to employ the techniques of classic non-violent protest.
In 1916, neither party endorsed women’s suffrage in its platform, but both parties called on the states to give women the vote.
Women’s war work allowed them to claim the right of patriotic citizenship.
In 1918, in the midst of the war, the House of Representatives passed the federal suffrage amendment, but the Senate voted it down. Carrie Chapman Catt and President Wilson
Finally, on Aug. 20, 1920, the 19th Amendment (no one can be denied right to vote based on race/gender) became part of the United States Constitution when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify it.
Just as the 19th century women’s rights movement began with women’s experiences in the temperance and abolition movements, the modern woman’s right movement began with women’s involvement in the civil rights protests of the 1950s and 60s.