History of the Suffragette Movement

The Women's Suffrage Movement, which sought to secure voting rights for women, was a key part of the broader struggle for women's rights and equality that emerged in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement had its roots in the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, where Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented the "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions," which called for women's suffrage and challenged the prevailing view of women's inferiority.

In the United States, the suffrage movement gained momentum in the early 20th century, with women organizing and advocating for their right to vote. Prominent figures included Carrie Chapman Catt, who led the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, whose short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" became a powerful symbol of women's oppression.

In Britain, the suffrage movement was led by the Pankhurst family, including Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst. Emmeline's essay "Why We Are Militant" explains the tactics of civil disobedience adopted by some suffragettes, including hunger strikes and property damage, to draw attention to their cause. Christabel's "Speech to the Women's Social and Political Union" outlines the goals of the movement and challenges the idea that women were not fit for political participation.

One of the key intellectual contributions to the movement was Elizabeth Cady Stanton's two-volume work "The Woman's Bible," which challenged traditional interpretations of the Bible that were used to justify women's subordination. While controversial at the time, it helped to lay the groundwork for feminist biblical scholarship.

Carrie Chapman Catt's "Letter to President Wilson" urged him to support a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote, arguing that women's participation in democracy was essential for the health of the nation. Her efforts, along with those of other suffragists, ultimately led to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1920, which granted women the right to vote.

Overall, the suffrage movement was a pivotal moment in the struggle for women's rights and equality, highlighting the power of collective action and the importance of challenging long-held assumptions about gender roles and abilities.

The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions 1848

"The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions 1848"

In the July-August 1998 issue of Hera, an article was published that provides a historical overview and analysis of the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions. The document was written by women's rights activists at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 and called for legal and social reforms to advance gender equality, including women's suffrage. The article contextualizes the document within the broader history of the women's rights movement and its connections to the Declaration of Independence.

The Yellow Wallpaper

"The Yellow Wallpaper"

In the summer 1980 issue of Motheroot Journal, this article provides an analysis of "The Yellow Wallpaper," a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that explores the relationship between gender, mental health, and social norms. The author argues that the story can be read as a feminist critique of the medical establishment and a symbol of women's oppression.

The Woman's Bible

"The Woman's Bible"

This brief review of "The Woman's Bible," a two-volume book that critiques the Bible from a women's perspective, was published in the Woman's Journal on July 20, 1895. The author notes that the book is controversial but argues that it raises important questions about the role of women in religion.

Why We Are Militant

"Why We Are Militant"

Published in The Suffragette in 1913, this article explains why the suffragettes have adopted militant tactics in their struggle for women's suffrage. According to Mrs. Pankhurst, peaceful protests and petitions have not succeeded in achieving their goals, and direct action, including breaking the law, is necessary to make their voices heard. She also defends the suffragettes against accusations of violence and argues that they are justified in using force against a government that denies them their rights.

What Women Want

"What Women Want"

In this article from Votes for Women in 1908, Christabel Pankhurst reflects on the state of the women's suffrage movement in England and the role of women in politics. Pankhurst discusses the recent election and argues that the defeat of pro-suffrage candidates demonstrates the need for more militant tactics in the suffragette campaign. She also emphasizes the importance of women's involvement in politics and the need for women to demand the vote in order to have a say in the laws that affect them.

Letter to President Wilson

"Letter to President Wilson"

An article reports on a letter sent by the women of France to President Wilson expressing their appreciation for his recent message to the women of the Allied countries, as transmitted by Carrie Chapman Catt.