The Road To Vote
Course Title and Code
The Road to Vote
The primary resources utilized in this paper, include:
1) Model Six: Declaration of Sentiments (1848), Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
2) Model Eight: The Triangle Fire (1911), Rose Schneiderman.
3) Model Nine: Account of NWP Picketing (1920), Doris Stevens.
History is one of the most important aspects of the society, which makes the people of the present time aware of the difficulties, struggles and sacrifices of past, as well as provide them the opportunity of learning from it and avoid the same mistakes in future. It also provides the opportunity of learning the strategies to make the future even more bright and progressive. This particular lesson of history has provided the opportunity of learning about the history of the struggle of the women, as well as shed light on their evolution, which made them able to reach the position which they enjoy in the modern times. The first unit discussed the immigration of many women to the united states of amerce, as well as their struggle in he society. The second unit explored the world view and other events which shed light on the position of women in society. The next step is to shed light on the struggle of women to gain the right to vote in the society, which was due to their constant struggle, perseverance, and faith.
One of the most important perspectives to explore in this section is the struggle of the women to get the right to vote in the male-dominated society. The fourteenth century to the nineteenth century was the darkest period of history according to the status of the women in society. During this period, women were kept as slaves, treated as maids and were forced to do the household chores by becoming the housewives. The inhumane treatment was not just limited to this, as they were also forced to work in the warehouses, without being paid. They were used as free labor while being disrespected and deprived of their rights at the same time. Things started changing with the dawn of the twentieth century as some brave women of the society started raising their voices for their rights, as well as created awareness among other women. Susan B. Anthony was one of the most prominent names, who made the society clear that the men of the society can only ensure the respect of the women by granting them the right to vote. Lucretia Mott was another prominent name, who along with her husband, held a conference in Seneca Falls in 1848, in order to create awareness about the rights of the women in the society. This marked the start of the struggle of the women of that era to get the equality of rights, as the male population of the society. The female activist tried to make it clear for the male dominant society that the society can only become complete and progressive if the women are provided with equal rights as the male members of the society.
After the Seneca Falls convention of 1848, women got a number of opportunities of declaring their importance and status of equality in society. The American society had to face the Mexican war in 1848, which was followed by the civil war, continuing from 1861 to 1865. Women emerged as greater support during the American civil war, as they took part in the war, as nurses, members of Red Cross and fighters as well. Dorothea Dix and Clara Barton were the prominent names who served in the mentioned fields and many other women served in the camps as well. Another progress of that time was the fifteenth amendment of 1870, which granted the right to vote to the men of all races and color while denying any kind of discrimination in the society. Susan B. Anthony considered the amendment as the insult of the women, as it did not mention the right to vote granted to women, without any discrimination, as well. This led Anthony and Stanton to set up an organization for women, which was named as The National Woman Suffrage Association. The purpose of the association was to create awareness about the rights of women, as well as demand those rights from the male-dominated society.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the most important women rights activists of the nineteenth century, who was an abolitionist and suffragist as well. She was an active supporter of women rights, who raised her voice against the issues of slavery and discrimination against women in society. She also authored the deceleration of the sentiments, which stated the sentiments of the women of that time, who were oppressed and discriminated in the society. One of the most important points of Stanton shared in the declaration was “Men and women are equally created, and I have also made clear that there is no government, no one who has the right to rule other than God, and yet men take steps where they are cruel to women.” She also led the Seneca Falls convention of 1848, which was major progress in the struggle of the women to get equality of the right to vote in the male-dominated society. Stanton utilized this opportunity to highlight some of the main issues of the women. She highlighted the fact that men of society have robbed the rights and status of equality of women, due to which the women are nothing more than the dead bodies in society. She also advocated the fact that women are not less than men in any way, so they have the right of enjoying equal opportunities and rights as the men of society. She also made it clear to the society that its progress is not possible until the women of society play their part in it. The declaration was not only important because it advocated the rights of the women, however, it was also more important because of the fact that it allowed the women to know their rights in detail and raise their voice against the discrimination of the society. The declaration was an eye opener for the women who thought that only the male members of the society deserved the rights.
After the first era of understanding the rights of the women and their importance in the society, came the era which strengthened the resistance of the women. During the period of 1870-1910, a great majority of the women population of the society was aware of its right to vote and demanded it from the male-dominated society. It was also the era of the industrial revolution, which welcomed a great number of immigrants to America. Women were forced to work in the warehouses and they were not compensated on an equal level as the male worker. The women activist demanded the equal wage, as well as working conditions for the women of the society. Another form of women resistance was the establishment of the Women's Club and the Sorosis by Jane Cunningham Crowley was one of the most important women clubs, which denied the access to the male members of the society. The club also created awareness among the women about housekeeping and physical, as well as moral cleanliness. The club also extended its support to the black females in their struggle of being acknowledged and granted their rights and laid the foundation of another club named American Women's Club of African origin. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire was one of the worst warehouse tragedies of that tie, which took the lives of more than 146 women and a great majority of them were the immigrants. The incident sparked the equality of the women rights because of the fact that the women lost their lives in the fire due to the unethical policies of the male members of the society. The staircases and exist of the buildings were locked, in order to not let the women take long breaks from work. The incident motivated the women to talk about their equality of rights in the workplace as well. It also gave rise to a number of marches, which advocated the right of women in society.
After the fire incident of the factory, a number of female activists emerged as a great force of change and advocated the rights of women. One such name was Rose Schneiderman, who specifically talked about the rights of women in the trade union. She was of the view that “The women were not burned in this city for the first time. To end this, women need to object to this inhumane treatment.” She was of the view that women should be strong enough to fight the struggle and take their due rights from society, even if they have to conduct marches to get their rights.
The last step in this regard is the women’s achievement of the right to vote, which became possible due to their faith, constant struggle and perseverance. During the second phase of struggle, they just kept raising their voices against the discrimination and there was no specific progress in the scenario. However, at this stage, they enhanced the level of their struggle and conducted marches in front of the white house, in the year 1914. The government accepted their demand and gave the right to vote to women of ten states, however, it did not cease the protests of the women, as they wanted the rights for all the women of the American society. Josephine Jewell Dodge was among the people who were against the right to vote. On the other hand, Lucy Burns and Alice Paul were the prominent figures who took part in the struggle of the women. The war of 1914, changed the whole scenario as the women had to stop their protest and take part in the war along with men, to depict their equality. Carrie Chapman emerged as the source of demanding the rights of women, by highlighting their contribution in war. Darwis Stevens, another women activist and a writer as well, used the opportunity and wrote the book about the struggles of the women during the protests, by highlighting the contribution of the famous figures like Lucy Burns and Catherine Mori, who were also arrested and went on hunger strike, along with number of other women, which forced the government to pass the nineteenth amendment of women’s right to vote.
The paper has explained the struggle of the women for gaining equal right as well as the right to vote in American society in three steps, from the period of 1848 to 1920. It has shed light on the struggles of the women and the obstacles they had to face on their way to progress. The most commendable thing in this regard is that women did not give up and continue fighting even after being hurt and disrespected. It is due to their struggle and efforts that the women of the modern era are able to enjoy the equality of status and right to vote in the society.
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