By Marjorie Spruill Wheeler
There's at present loads of curiosity within the Southern suffrage circulate, yet earlier historians have had no entire heritage of the girl suffrage circulation within the South, the area the place suffragists had the toughest struggle and the least good fortune. this crucial new ebook makes a speciality of 11 of the movement's so much fashionable leaders on the local and nationwide degrees, exploring the variety of critiques inside this workforce, with specific emphasis on race and states' rights. Wheeler insists that the suffragists have been stimulated basically by means of the need to safe public confirmation of woman equality and to guard the pursuits of girls, little ones, and the negative within the culture of noblesse oblige in a brand new South they perceived as misgoverned via crass and materialistic males. A energetic suffrage circulation begun within the South within the Eighteen Nineties, notwithstanding, simply because suffragists believed delivering lady suffrage as a fashion of countering black balloting power gave them an "expediency" argument that may succeed--even make the South lead the country within the adoption of girl suffrage. whilst this procedure failed, the stream flagged, until eventually the innovative circulate supplied a brand new motive for woman enfranchisement. Wheeler additionally emphasizes the connection among the Northern and Southern leaders, which was once one in every of mutual impression. This pioneering research of the Southern suffrage circulation could be necessary to scholars of the heritage of girl suffrage, American girls, the South, the revolutionary period, and American reform pursuits.
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Extra info for New Women of the New South: The Leaders of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the Southern States
As conditions improved, Southern women with the leisure to do so became increasingly involved in voluntary associations, first in church and missionary societies (beginning in the 1870s), then in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and women's clubs (1880s). Through employment or involvement in these organizations, Southern women gained new knowledge of conditions beyond the home and a new level of interest and involvement in public affairs. 19 Many Southern men and women found these changes in the activities of women profoundly disturbing; but rather than revising their assessment of woman's role, they ignored, denied, or resisted 10 New Women of the New South new developments.
66 Though a storm of criticism from his colleagues from North and West caused Tillman to have it stricken, he introduced into the Congressional Record Dr. Bledsoe's 1871 "Mission of Woman" (quoted 28 New Women of the New South above) with its vicious attack on Northern feminists, and reasserted Bledsoe's contentions that equal rights for women had been the undoing of the Roman Empire and would lead America to a similar fate. "67 Nothing infuriated the Southern Democrats more than the tactics of the National Woman's Party, the militant spin-off of the NAWSA that, following a strategy borrowed from British suffragists, tried to "punish the party in power" for its failure to secure a federal suffrage amendment.
The Progressive Party, which had endorsed woman suffrage by state and federal action in 1912, did so again in 1916. The NAWSA was disappointed with the endorsements of suffrage by state action only, fearing this might give ammunition to opponents of a federal amendment. But the National's The Southern Lady 29 strategy of winning enough states to insure victory of a federal suffrage amendment was soon to succeed. 70 In 1918 Wilson shocked and dismayed Southern opponents of the federal suffrage amendment by giving it his endorsement.