Women’s Rights At The Turn Of The Century

Southern state legislature passed constitutional limits and laws that made voter registration and voting more difficult. During the great depression, legislation establishing numerous national social programs or passed without the representation of African-Americans leading to gaps in program coverage. Women and African Americans were both disenfranchised. Women and African Americans had to work longer hours with lower wages. Tactics progressive women used to win the right to vote. They lobbied congress to pass a constitution amendment, used the referendum process to pass state suffrage laws, recruited wealthy, well-educated women to work for suffrage, and held protest marches and hunger strikes. Women fought for their right to vote so they could choose their government which would ultimately improve the quality of their life and their jobs.

Politics were an arena for the rich. Elites like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson positioned themselves as champions of the cause and would compromise legislation that was proposed by the progressive movement because they were willing to make compromises in order to satisfy their own interest and remain in power.

Women, minorities, and working men used their voting power that impacted legislation in order to advance their own interest. They were able to elect officials that would pass legislation that made them a political force that could no longer be ignored.

Source:  Keene, Jennifer D., Saul T. Cornell and Edward T. O’Donnell. Vision of America: A History of the United States, Volume, 3/e Boston: Pearson, n.d. Chapter 17.3.2(1)


6 thoughts on “Women’s Rights At The Turn Of The Century

  1. Women being able to vote was one of the most important things for this change that we have seen and continue to see up to this day. By voting for people they want in office they now have the decision who gets in and is able to make this a more fair country all the way around.

    1. Yes, I agree with your comment! Women finally getting the right to vote, or finally getting a voice was very important. It opened up the door for women to vote who they wanted in office. They could choose candidates who are more favorable to their causes and concerns. This helped pass many laws including one I find very important the child labor law! I might be a little biased but I think women are awesome!!

  2. I like that you mentioned the fact that women advocacy was the reason they got the right to vote. Do you believe that if it was not for their extreme tactics, that they would have got the right to vote? Personally, I think it would happen no matter what. Still there is an argument to be made that actions towards it were not done until the threat of starvation.,

  3. Women gaining the right to vote has opened more pathways for political and social change. Effectively doubling the voting base, woman’s gain of voting rights has allowed Americans to have more balanced discussions and has given women the ability to elect representatives that agree with their ideology better. This is undoubtedly one of the most important changes in American history.

  4. I agree with this post completely. Gaining the right to vote opened up so many doors for both women and minorities. When people talk about women gaining the right to vote, they seem to view it as the end goal that they achieved. When in fact, voting was just their means to keep pushing towards their end goal: to create a government that would take women’s needs into consideration. The same can be said about minorities. “Gaining the right to vote” is so much more than an end goal.

  5. It is very admirable, but also sad, the lengths that women went to work for suffrage. Protest marches, hunger strikes, and gathering like-minded women to join for the same cause must have taken a lot of willpower and determination. It is great that their hard work paid off, and that many Americans learned from this.

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