Episode 31: feminism and suffrage Hi, Im John Green, this is Crash Course U.S. history and today were going to talk about women in the progressive era. My God, that is a fantastic hat. Wait, votes for women?? So between Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson, and all those doughboys headed off to war, women in this period have sort of been footnoted shockingly. Mr. Green, Mr. Green. Id NEVER make a woman.
A footnote. shed be the center of my world, my raison detre, my joie de vivre. Oh, Me from the Past. Im reminded of why you got a C+ in French 3. Let me submit to you, Me from the Past, that your weird worship of women is a kind of misogyny because youre imagining women as these beautiful, fragile things that you can possess. It turns out that women are not things. They are people in precisely the same way that you are a person and in the progressive era, they demanded to be seen as full citizens.
Of the united states. in short, women dont exist to be your joie de vivre. They get to have their own joie de vivre. intro So, its tempting to limit ourselves to discussion of women getting the right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment, but if we focus too much on the constitutional history, were gonna miss a lot. Some historians refer to the thirty years between 1890 and 1920 as the womens.
Era because it was in that time that women started to have greater economic and political opportunities. Women were also aided by legal changes, like getting the right to own property, control their wages and make contracts and wills. By 1900 almost 5 million women worked for wages, mainly in domestic service or light manufacturing, like the garment industry. Women in America were always vital contributors to the economy as producers and consumers and they always worked, whether for wages.
Or taking care of children and the home. and as someone who has recently returned from paternity leave, let me tell you, that aint no joke. And American women were also active as reformers since, like, America became a thing. And those reform movements brought women into state and national politics before the dawn of the progressive era. Unfortunately, their greatest achievement, Prohibition, was also our greatest national shame. Oh, yeah, alright, okay. Its actually.
Not in our top 5 national shames. but, probably womens greatest influence indeed came through membership AND leadership in the Womens Christian Temperance Union. The WCTU was founded in 1874 and by 1890 it had 150,000 members, making it the largest female organization in the United States. Under the leadership of Frances Willard, the WCTU embraced a broad reform agenda. Like it included pushing for the right for women to vote. The feeling was that the best way to stop.
People from drinking was to pass local laws that made it harder to drink, and to do that it would be very helpful if women could vote. Because American men were a bunch of alcoholic scoundrels who darn well werent going to vote to get rid of beer hoses. In 1895 Willard boldly declared, A wider freedom is coming to the women of America. Too long has it been held that woman has no right to enter these movements () Politics is the place for woman. But the role of women in politics did greatly.
Expand during the progressive era. as in prior decades, many reformers were middle and upper class women, but the growing economy and the expansion of what might be called the uppermiddle class meant that there were more educational opportunities and this growing group of collegeeducated women leaned in and became the leaders of new movements. Sorry, there was no way I was gonna get through this without one lean in. I love that book. So as weve talked about before, the 1890s.
Reconstruction and 1876 Crash Course US History 22
Episode 21: reconstruction Hi, Im John Green, this is Crash Course U.S. History and huzzah! The Civil War is over! The slaves are free! Huzzah! That one hit me in the head? Its very dangerous, Crash Course. So when you say, Dont aim at a person, that includes myself? The roller coaster only goes up from here, my friends. Huzzah!.
Mr. green, mr. green, what about the epic failure of reconstruction? Oh, right. Stupid Reconstruction always ruining everything intro So after the Civil War ended, the United States had to reintegrate both a formerly slave population and a formerly rebellious population back into the country, which is a challenge that we mightve met, except Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and we were left with Andrew I am the Third Worst President Ever.
Johnson. im sorry, abe, but you dont get to be in the show anymore. So, Lincolns whole postwar idea was to facilitate reunion and reconciliation, and Andrew Johnsons guiding Reconstruction principle was that the South never had a right to secede in the first place. Also, because he was himself a Southerner, he resented all the elites in the South who had snubbed him, AND he was also a racist who didnt think that blacks should have.
Any role in reconstruction. trifecta! so between 1865 and 1867, the socalled period of Presidential Reconstruction, Johnson appointed provisional governors and ordered them to call state conventions to establish new allwhite governments. And in their 100% whiteness and oppression of former slaves, those new governments looked suspiciously like the old confederate governments they had replaced. And what was changing for the former slaves? Well, in some ways, a lot. Like, Fiske and.
Howard universities were established, as well as many primary and secondary schools, thanks in part to The Freedmans Bureau, which only lasted until 1870, but had the power to divide up confiscated and abandoned confederate land for former slaves. And this was very important because to most slaves, land ownership was the key to freedom, and many felt like theyd been promised land by the Union Army. Like, General Shermans Field Order 15, promised to distribute land in 40 acre plots to former slaves.
But that didnt happen, either through the freedmans bureau or anywhere else. instead, President Johnson ordered all land returned to its former owners. So the South remained largely agricultural with the same people owning the same land, and in the end, we ended up with sharecropping. Lets go to the Thought Bubble. The system of sharecropping replaced slavery in many places throughout the South. Landowners would provide housing to the sharecroppersno, Thought Bubble, not quite that nice. There.
Ya goalso tools and seed, and then the sharecroppers received, get this, a share of their cropusually between a third and a half, with the price for that harvest often set by the landowner. Freed blacks got to control their work, and plantation owners got a steady workforce that couldnt easily leave, because they had little opportunity to save money and make the big capital investments in, like, land or tools. By the late 1860s, poor white farmers were sharecropping as wellin fact, by the Great Depression, most sharecroppers were.
White. and while sharecropping certainly wasnt slavery, it did result in a quasiserfdom that tied workers to land they didnt ownmore or less the opposite of Jeffersons ideal of the small, independent farmer. So, the Republicans in Congress werent happy that this reconstructed south looked so much like the preCivil War south, so they took the lead in reconstruction after 1867. Radical Republicans felt the war had been fought for equal rights and wanted to see the powers of the national government expanded.