Social change was in the air, and in 1867, Michigan passed legislation that enabled tax paying women to vote in school election and later in 1908 to vote on bond issues. Obviously there were objections to women voting with a host of excuses and political rhetoric about “rights” what is, and isn’t a right for another person. I’ve always found it so simple and sweet to know and understand what is a natural right, and how the constitution doesn’t create but simply protects those rights. Men often thought of the woman as unable to understand issues, as they did not go to war, or dig canals, or explore or build railroads, and therefore could not understand the complexity of voting on legislation that would directly effect the country that they live in and love. Another lovely argument was that women physically was not competent to become a part of the law enforcing power of the country. In addition, there were groups forming in Michigan (made up of women mind you) that were against Woman’s suffrage entirely.
From child labor laws to work place safety, the most ground was covered in voting right laws. Now, the country as a whole was going through many changes, and Michigan was no different. A lot of these rights were being talked about nation wide. There was a change in these areas around the nation but here in Michigan, woman’s suffrage appeared on several different ballots, being defeated in 1907-8, 1912, and again in 1913. It wasn’t until 1918 that woman’s suffrage finally passed.
it wasn’t until 1870 that the university of Michigan admitted women into the university, and it wasn’t until much later that work environments improved for both men and women. As of 1900 the federal census estimated 2 million children in the workforce. There was still much to be done.