The Women's Right Movement

2439 WordsMar 31, 201410 Pages
The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848–1920 Meet the Women Members of the 65th–73rd Congresses (1917–1934) Education Resources onWomen in Congress The beginning of the fight for women’s suffrage in the United States, which predates Jeannette Rankin’s entry into Congress by nearly 70 years, grew out of a larger women’s rights movement. That reform effort evolved during the 19th century, initially emphasizing a broad spectrum of goals before focusing solely on securing the franchise for women. Women’s suffrage leaders, moreover, often disagreed about the tactics for and the emphasis (federal versus state) of their reform efforts. Ultimately, the suffrage movement provided political training for some of the early women pioneers in Congress,…show more content…
During the 1880s, the two wings of the women’s rights movement struggled to maintain momentum. The AWSA was better funded and the larger of the two groups, but it had only a regional reach. The NWSA, which was based in New York, relied on its statewide network but also drew recruits from around the nation, largely on the basis of the extensive speaking circuit of Stanton and Anthony. Neither group attracted broad support from women, or persuaded male politicians or voters to adopt its cause. Susan B. Anthony and Ida H. Harper cowrote, “In the indifference, the inertia, the apathy of women, lies the greatest obstacle to their enfranchisement.” Historian Nancy Woloch described early suffragists’ efforts as “a crusade in political education by women and for women, and for most of its existence, a crusade in search of a constituency.”5 The turning point came in the late 1880s and early 1890s, when the nation experienced a surge of volunteerism among middle-class women—activists in progressive causes, members of women’s clubs and professional societies, temperance advocates, and participants in local civic and charity organizations. The determination of these women to expand their sphere of activities further outside the home helped legitimate the suffrage movement and provided new momentum for the NWSA and the AWSA. By 1890, seeking to capitalize on their newfound “constituency,” the two groups united to form the National American

More about The Women's Right Movement

Open Document