Women's Suffrage Movement Analysis

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The Women’s Suffrage Movement: An Analysis of Success Introduction The suffrage movement worked tirelessly to gain the right to vote for women; we now know this to be a part of first wave feminism. It should be noted, that first wave feminism involved more than just a call for women’s right to vote; equal rights in universities, trades, marriage and professions, the right to share in political office, personal and financial freedoms were also involved. However, this paper will focus mostly on gaining the right to vote. In the United States, the women’s suffrage movement began in 1848, culminating around 1920. It was marked by the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York (Jeydel, 2011, p 28). This time period and locale…show more content…
Anthony was another prominent figure in the women’s suffrage movement in America; she began her social justice involvement in the abolition and temperance movement. She was a Quaker who worked to educate people on the evils of alcohol. It was within the temperance movement that she began to recognize woman’s inferiority both in social and political spheres (Jeydel, 2011, p. 40). Women were welcomed into these reform movements, however their public speaking was not (Jeydel, 2011, p.40). Before the Civil War these activists worked mainly at the state level. However, “with the end of the Civil War, Negro suffrage took on national political significance” (Jeydel, 2011, p. 29) and many women’s rights activists saw this wave of change as an opportunity to improve women’s rights. Conversely, the commonality of these exclusionary experiences led many women to have an interest in the question of woman’s rights. DuBois as cited in Jeydel (2011) explains, “they laid the groundwork for a feminist movement by articulating a set of demands for women’s rights and by acquiring the skills and self confidence necessary to offer political leadership to other women”…show more content…
As mentioned earlier, the original leaders of the American suffrage movement actively participated in the abolition and temperance movements. Their participation led to the origin of the women’s suffrage movement in two ways: women saw that through collective action social conditions could be improved, and that the restrictions placed on their participation made them question their position in society. These other movements had success in challenging dominant ideologies that permeated society at the time. The women’s rights activists saw the success of the Civil rights movement as an indication that their own social change was possible. Women entered the abolitionist movement with an initial set of grievances; they gained skills, resources, established networks and refined movement ideologies (Buechler, 1990, p. 37). However, they also suffered “new insults from male leaders who welcomed their contributions to abolitionism but rejected their bid for serious consideration” (Buechler, 1990, p. 37-38). The women’s movement evolved, and it established a well-defined group identity, consciousness, a clear set of grievances and a strong sense of relative deprivation (Buechler, 1990, p. 38). A national network of like-minded activists was formed and it had access to the types of resources needed for sustained movement mobilization (Buechler, 1990, p.

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