1880s thousands of local women’s clubs;
At first, culture;
Gradually, move toward civic issues;
1892 Jane Cunningham Croly - General Federation of Women’s Clubs – improving public education, libraries, hospitals & playgrounds;
1890 Portland Maine, fifty women’s clubs;
1903 Mary (Mother) Jones - march of striking children;
"Whatever your fight, don't be ladylike…. Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living."
1903 Mary Kenney O’Sullivan - Women's Trade Union League;
goals – equal pay for equal work, eight-hour day, decent working conditions, minimum wage, & women’s suffrage;
1909, the “Great Uprising” - 18,000 workers from 500 shirtwaist makers’ factories;
Triangle Shirtwaist Company - 700 arrested;
multimillionaire Alva Belmont;
1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire - 146 died;
WTUL pressure for new factory safety legislation;
1889 Jane Addams - Hull House, Chicago
“Settlement work” – solve problems of urban poverty by offering social & cultural services to help poor & new immigrants;
Addams graduated Illinois seminary 1882
London, visited Toynbee Hall;
medical & legal services, classes in English & citizenship, vocational training, day care & children’s clubs, plays & concerts;
era before modern welfare state;
2,000 Chicago residents attended at least one Hull House function every week;
1910, 400 settlement houses in East & Midwest;
new profession – social work;
"the new woman" - independent, well-educated – wanted exciting challenge & feeling of doing something important;
Florence Kelley (Cornell) -
Illinois chief factory inspector
National Consumer’s League – boycott unfair stores, shop at ones on “white list”;
Medical degree Univ. Mich. 1893;
1910 director of Illinois Occupational Disease Commission;
investigating lead poisoning, radium;
Illinois workers compensation laws;
new field of industrial medicine;
1918 first woman appointed Harvard Medical School;
with Association of Collegiate Alumnae, WCTU – network;
Antisuffragists - idealization of femininity as “beauty, serenity & faith”;
vote would “diminish the purity, dignity, and moral influence of women.” – “unsex women” and produce a “counterfeit man, monstrosities of nature.”
called for men to uphold “all the male instincts of domination and sovereignty.”
Senator Elihu Root - caught up in the “arena of conflict”, women would become “hard, harsh, unlovable, [and] repulsive.”
Exposure to the “mire of politics” would lead “not only to stunting and degeneration of the feelings, but to abnormal growth of the intellect and to the inevitable exhaustion of the brain through social strife.”
decay of family life - Nebraska minister, “we want more love, not more politics, in the homes of this country.”
some women already “hysterical” over cause; pregnant mothers might become “over-excited” & lead to “the sterility of American homes.”
Women “impulsive and impressionable” which makes “the ballot in their hands a dangerous thing [since women] can be deceived and misled by the baser sort.”
women’s “regular period marked by mental & nervous irritability”.
“science” – craniologists 1800s - women’s skulls & brains smaller.
Edward Drinker Cope - women stuck at lower evolutionary stage of emotionality while men had evolved toward higher rationality.
1911 National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NAOWS);
“the great majority of women do not want the ballot thrust upon them by a fanatical minority!”
“The immigrant woman is a fickle, impulsive creature, irresponsible, very superstitious, ruled absolutely by emotion… in many things much resembling a sheep. She would be as capable of understanding as much of political matters as a man deaf and blind would of the opera….. She would sell her vote for a pound of macaroni!”
Margaret Deland, “We have suffered many things at the hands of Patrick; the New Woman would add Bridget also, and graver danger – to the vote of that fierce, silly, amiable creature, the uneducated Negro, she would add the vote of his sillier, baser female.”
slogan, “Down with the Yellow Peril, [down with] woman’s votes”
In response, suffragists combined arguments of “separate spheres” and “republican motherhood” with women’s rights principles & demands for reform.
“Voting will never lessen maternal love.”
Still identify women with morality & domesticity – use as pro-suffrage argument;
“Woman’s place is in the home. This is a platitude which no woman will ever dissent from… But Home is not contained within the four walls of an individual home. Home is the community. The city full of people is the Family. The public school is the real Nursery. And badly does the Home and the Family and the Nursery need their mother.”
Argument shifts – Anthony & Stanton had argued women were men’s equals as individuals & citizens, same rights & responsibilities.
Second generation - women different from men -morally superior – deserved vote to fight corruption of government by big business and political machines.
housewives to the world;
Link to prohibition – wrong for brewers & saloon-keepers to be armed with ballot, while “the homemaker, the child-rearer, is powerless against such a foe.”
(tune of “the Battle Hymn of the Republic”):
Let women weave the charm of home for city and for state,
Where children and the poor and lost her ministry await;
And by the magic of her love bid her inaugurate
The new and glorious day.
A ballot for the Lady!
For the home and for the Baby!
Come, vote ye for the Lady,
The Baby, the Home!
1890 Wyoming only state women full voting rights (repealed in Utah);
1890 National Woman Suffrage Association & American Woman merge – National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA);
Stanton first president; Anthony 2nd;
1896 Stanton The Woman’s Bible;
insisted that God had created men & women as equal;
NAWSA formally disassociated itself;
1900 president NAWSA Carrie Lane Chapman Catt (1859-1947):
Iowa State Agricultural College;
superintendent of schools, Mason City;
lecturing & suffrage work;
1893 Colorado campaign for state suffrage - Denver Equal Suffrage League
succeeded, Colorado second state to give women full voting;
Iowa, NAWSA 250 local clubs, $5,000;
Catt realist – goal to win support of a critical mass of middle-class women;
1894 Anthony rejected a request from black women to form own NAWSA chapter;
Didn’t want NAWSA to fight railroad segregation: “We women are a helpless, disenfranchised class. It is not for us to go passing resolutions against railroad corporations.”
Southern white suffragists – said suffrage good for white supremacy - “the South [will] be compelled to look to its Anglo-Saxon women as the medium through which to retain its supremacy of the white race over the African.”
Late 1800s-early 1900s wave of immigration from southern & eastern Europe;
Suffragists – women’s vote could counter the “foreign menace”;
Stanton - literacy & English tests to “decrease the ignorant native vote.”
Catt 1894 Iowa, “This government is menaced with great danger…. That danger lies in the votes possessed by the males in the slums of the cities and the ignorant foreign vote which was sought to be bought by each party…. There is but one way to avert the danger – cut off the vote of the slums and give it to women.”
Stanton’s own daughter & Jane Addams disagreed – said immigrants needed vote to protect families.
Constitutional amendment dying in Congress;
First generation of suffragists dying - 1890s Lucy Stone, Frances Willard; 1902 Stanton died; 1906 Anthony – final speech, “Failure is impossible”.
NAWSA long series of campaigns to change state constitutions;
1896 California referendum;
SF Chronicle,LA Times against suffrage;
Suffrage lost by 26,000 votes out of 250,000;
1896 Idaho won -122,000 for; 6,000 against (Catt);
1907 Nebraska, suffrage lost on tie vote in state senate;
lost in Vermont’s senate by three votes
lost by seven votes in South Dakota’s House.
1911 won in Calif.
four million pamphlets; women precinct guards to prevent vote fixing;
1912 women won vote in Oregon, Arizona & Kansas – same year, lost in Michigan, Ohio & Wisconsin (Mich. Lost by 760 votes)
1910 Harriot Stanton Blatch – NY giant suffrage parade;
march from NY City to Albany, 13 days;
1915 lost in NY, Mass, NJ & PA;
NAWSA shifting efforts from state to federal level;
1909 garment workers strike - Rose Schneiderman & Mary Anderson – new energy;
Miriam Leslie fortune to Catt;
NAWSA lobbying organization in DC; “suffrage machine”; contact 600 Congressmen
Fiorello LaGuardia, “I’m with you, I’m for it, I’m going to vote for it – now don’t bother me!”
Martin Dies, “look at the barnyard, at the cockerel who protects his hen”;
complained, “A petticoat brigade awaits outside, and [compliant] Senate leaders, like little boys, trek back & forth for orders.”
suffragists in Britain, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, Norway, Sweden.
Australia granted women full rights 1901;
English women militant;
Discussing foot-binding in China, bride-burning in India;
Suffragists literally going into streets, challenge ideas about how “lady” ought to behave;
1869 Pittsburgh arrest of any woman on street after 9 p.m.
suffrage posters, calendars, lapel buttons;
suffrage tea parties - non-threatening;
suffrage baby shows, samples of cooking;
pageants project vision of future;
NAWSA suffrage plays, movies;
skills of public speaking & political argumentation;
open-air meetings - soapbox or park bench;
crowds 200 to 2,000; automobile campaign;
petition (one list four miles long)
Catt, “I don’t like washing off the soil of travel in ice water out of a bowl. I don’t like creaky springs in my bed… I am homesick and want to creep back to my own nest. I don’t want to be a reformer today.”
self-respect & confidence;
NY seven suffrage parades 1910-1917;
1915, 50,000 marchers, quarter of million spectators;
Alice Paul (1885-1977):
Quaker NJ, master’s degree Univ of Penn.
graduate school – joined Emmeline Pankhurst;
Paul huge suffrage parade DC March 3, 1914, day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration;
26 floats, ten bands, 8,000 marchers;
virtual riot - DC police superintendent fired;
Alice Paul - more radical Congressional Union, later National Woman’s Party
1914 forcing suffrage amendment to vote - 34 in favor, 35 against.