Struggle For The 19th Amendment Term Paper

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19th Amendment

Suffrage was another important issue that women struggled with in the 19th and early 20th century. The inability to cast their vote was evidence of the fact that they had been victims of patriarchic society. Their second-grade citizens status was however completely unacceptable to some dynamic souls even in the 19th century when most women were not even allowed active participation in the workforce. The early suffragists however understood the significance of political participation. One such woman was Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915) who promoted the cause of suffrage through her newspapers, other writings and addresses. She maintained that once the political rights were fully granted to all women, other issues could gradually resolve on their own. One main issue was domestic service that many women were forced to seek in the absence of proper employment opportunities. Duniway felt that right to vote would lead to other rights and eventually domestic service would end, as more women would be needed in other areas of employment. While she was an influential leader, most early suffragists followed specific tactics that failed to leave an impact. For this reason, in late nineteenth century, women opted for more aggressive tactics to win their cause. Florence Luscomb (1887-1985) can be considered one of the pioneers of the new strategy as she conducted open-air meetings and sold suffrage supplements with newspapers to accentuate the significance of the issue. Her aggressive moves combined with the brilliant leadership of NAWSA president Carrie Chapman Catt finally won suffrage rights for women in 1920 with the 19th Amendment. The colossal achievement was definitely the result of a long suffrage movement. By the time the right was finally granted, women had already advanced ahead in several other areas including employment and education, so access to political field was part of the natural progression. The 'New' woman felt humiliated that she was hitherto deprived of full citizenship and winning the right finally put her on the path of complete equality.

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