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.
Susan B Anthony Speech on Voting Rights For Women Womans Rights Movement
During the presidential election of 1872, susan b. anthony cast what was considered an illegal vote because she was a woman. She was then tried and fined $100, of which, she refused to pay. To understand the significance of this fine, one must consider that $100 in 1872 would be roughly $1,900 today in 2015. The following is her speech after her arrest for her illegal act on the issue of Womens Right to Vote. It was lecture that she performed during a speaking tour of the towns and villages of Monroe and Ontario counties.
The title of her lecture was: is it a crime for a citizen of the united states to vote? Friends and fellow citizens: I stand before you tonight under indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last presidential election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen’s rights, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any state.
To deny. The preamble of the Federal Constitution says: We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democraticrepublican government the.
Ballot. For any state to make sex a qualification that must ever result in the disfranchisement of one entire half of the people, is to pass a bill of attainder, or, an ex post facto law, and is therefore a violation of the supreme law of the land. By it the blessings of liberty are forever withheld from women and their female posterity. To them this government has no just powers derived from the consent of the governed.
To them this government is not a democracy. it is not a republic. it is an odious aristocracy; a hateful oligarchy of sex; the most hateful aristocracy ever established on the face of the globe; an oligarchy of wealth, where the rich govern the poor. An oligarchy of learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy of race, where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured; but this oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters, of every.
Household which ordains all men sovereigns, all women subjects, carries dissension, discord, and rebellion into every home of the nation. Webster, Worcester, and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office. The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? And I hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being persons, then, women.
Are citizens; and no state has a right to make any law, or to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence, every discrimination against women in the constitutions and laws of the several states is today null and void, precisely as is every one against Negroes. Susan B. Anthony 1873 Want to hear more extraordinary speeches? Browse Playlist to pick another great.