11. Feminism and the Women’s Suffrage Movement

I. Nineteenth-Century Feminism
- 19th century feminists argued that women were different, but equal to men, and deserving of equal rights
- Middle-class feminists tended to agitate for political and social emancipation
- Working-class women sought change through trade unionism and socialism

II. The Women Question: “What Do Women Want?”
A. A general improvement of their conditions
• marriage, child custody and property rights
• equal pay for equal work
• equal access to higher education and the professions

B. The Right to Vote
- “We are fighting to get the power to alter bad laws”

III. The Women’s Suffrage Movement
A. Began in the United States

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony at Seneca Falls, NY in 1848
- “We hold these truths to be self-evident:that all men and women were created equal.”
- by 1913 women won the vote in 13 states

B. England
- John Stuart Mill put women’s suffrage to a Parliamentary vote in 1867 > 35% in favor
- Lydia Becker began the women’s suffrage movement in 1868
- “Suffragettes” > resorted to violent protest: Emmaline Pankhurst, Sylvia and Christabel

C. France
- Movement developed more slowly due to Catholic tradition and concern over declining birthrate
- Yet by 1900 more than 100,000 active members of women’s rights organizations

D. Germany
- Women were barred from political activity
- German National Council for Women (1894)
- German Association of Women’s Suffrage (1899)

E. International Women’s Suffrage Movement
- International Council of Women (1888)
- International Alliance of Women (1902)
- International Federation of Working Women (1919)

 

 

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