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American Women suffrage movement - Essay Example

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American Women Suffrage Movement The 19th century saw a snowballing movement in terms of women's rights and equality. Formal organizations were created by various female leaders in an effort to present themselves as a legitimate political rights group in the eyes of the world…
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Download file to see previous pages But this paper is not about the British suffrage action, that was merely meant as a reference point. This paper will instead concentrate on the trials and tribulations that the pioneering feminist movement women of the United States of America had to endure in order to allow the average 21st century woman the power of equality of the sexes and the right to vote. Both are achievements that the modern day woman tend to take for granted and as such, deserve revisiting in order to remind the women of where these freedoms came from and at what cost to the early 20th century woman. The early to middle 20th century saw an era of rapid industrialization in the United States which resulted in more women joining the workforce. Originally, women were not give the right to representation in their place of work and during voting procedures because there was a belief that these women, most of whom were married, would be represented in the vote by their husbands. However, the continuous changes that were occurring in the factories, including the abuse of women in terms of labor practice, proved that the male vote could not protect the rights of women (Liazos, 128). This was the original cause that started the Women's Suffragette movement. It is important to note however that there was at the time, a sector of women that did not totally believe in the female cause of the era. It was the belief of the non suffragettes that; ... only one class of women wanted the vote and that the vast majority of women were content as they were. in fact, many immigrant women working for reform in labor did indeed “[view] women's suffrage irrelevant to basic political change , a mere plaything for the middle-classed, privileged woman. “ They felt that it was not as important as other social, industrial, educational, and moral progress (Liazos 126-127). One of the most notable names in the movement is that of Alice Paul who, raised in the Hicktite beliefs, always thought that equality of the sexes was something that was natural as their religious beliefs advocated that belief. Ms. Paul was born January 11, 1885 in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey to Quaker parents William and Tacie Paul. They were the first people who influenced the young Alice's belief in gender equality and the need to work for the betterment of society. The eldest of 4 siblings, Alice was the one who was most influenced by her mother's early association with the suffragette movement since the meetings for the cause were often held on Paulsdale, the family farm. Paul herself admitted to being exposed to the movement while in attendance at the family farm meetings with her mother. In fact, Alice often refers to her mother's advocacy and role in the movement when asked about why she had such a keen interest in seeing the desires of the movement become a reality, In a Time magazine article she was quoted as having credited “...her farm upbringing by quoting an adage she learned from her mother, "When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row" (Carol, Myers, et. al. 1). Ms. Paul, having been raised within Quaker traditions explained that she had always been raised with a belief in equality of the sexes. It was, in her point of view, simply a normal part of Quaker life. In her best effort to explain the relation of her Quaker upbringing with her belief in the equality of the s ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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