Politics at the Turn of the Century


Consider politics at the turn of the century.  More than half the population was still disenfranchised.  With women not having the vote and African Americans discriminated against, how do you think the political process worked?  Do you think that politics were considered an arena for the rich only?  How did women, minorities, and working men impact the political process?

Politics at the turn of the century with over half of the population being disenfranchised. The political process was way different back then with limiting people the right to vote. They didn’t want woman and African Americans to vote because they feared they would lose control of Congress to the democrats. I do believe that at that time politics was an arena for the rich. At this time they only wanted land owners and business people the right to vote. The woman or African Americans had no right to vote and were discriminated against. The political process worked with the emergence of the political machines. These became powerful in large cities by organizing large blocs or working class voters as well as developing relationships with all the businesses interests. With the spread of these machines also came the spread of white male sufferage. The political machines often caused voter intimidation and election fraud.

Woman gaining the right to vote really impacted the United States and has been listed as “one of the most important events of the century”. The sufferage movement has led us to where we are as a country today. Participation in the election process involves much more than just voting. It gives the opportunity for the woman, working men, and minorities the freedom to speak out, take part in activities, and an equal right all around to take part in the political process.

7 thoughts on “Politics at the Turn of the Century

  1. I agree with you about the suffrage movement leading us to where we are today. It was an important step in the fight for civil rights and lead to others standing up for their rights and themselves. Its about so much more than just voting.

  2. The suffrage movement was such a huge political movement within our history. Sadly, I feel that if you examine the current political climate, you will see that yes, things have changed a lot in politics since the turn of the century, but we still have systems of discrimination in place.

    If you loom at the way black communities are losing their polling centers, so they are so far away that they are unable to make it their district voting center to vote. The fact that women’s ability to make their own decisions relating to their bodies is still a huge violation of women’s rights; the system of discrimination around politics and ability to vote for what matters to you, is still prevelent even today. And let’s not get started on the disenfranchisment of immigrants, hispanics and the Muslim communities….

  3. If we all live in the same country, we should all have the same rights. It is crazy to believe there was a time when that did not matter. The women’s suffrage was such a fascinating piece of history. To be a woman then and to be stripped your rights because a powerful white man says so? That is crazy, but to be an African American woman during that time? Those women were tough and brave. I would have to agree in saying that those events were mesmerizing and pivotal to our country!
    Now, with everyone having the ability to vote, we have more of a chance to hear what people need to say. There are so many more issues than those of just a certain working class. I am happy that we do not have as much of an issue with that anymore. I do think that politics were meant for the rich. They wanted to keep the rich, rich or to be richer and just have the lower classes make the money for them.

    1. I’d definitely agree that being a women during this time being stripped of your rights is hard to imagine let alone what it was like as an African American women. The women’s suffrage movement helped obtain voting rights for women. However, during this time frame racism led white women to exclude black women from their clubs and the suffrage movement. I admire the fact that African American women such as Ida B. Wells pushed on establishing clubs of their own and launched a national campaign against lynching which drew many African Americans into public activism. Without determination and willingness to fight for our rights then, could have had a significant affect on where we are now as a country.

  4. I do agree that woman and minorities being able to vote got us to the modern america. Allowing working woman, men and minorities to vote allowed them to get what they wish for. Although the right to vote was a main revolving point during the civil rights movement, there where many other factors that contributed to the modern america then giving the right to vote to all people including minorities, and woman.

  5. i agree with you when you said participation in the election process is much more than just voting. it is such an importance we have the right to vote, and some people take that for granted in todays world. It gives the people a chance to have a voice in the political process and an opportunity to change an aspect of it.
    very good post.

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