You are browsing the archive for suffrage.

Separate but not equal

September 17, 2010 in 1920s-30s

If in 1842, a white slave owner in Kentucky could leave his estate to a daughter he had with one of his slaves, ( Narcissa executors vs. Wathan et al Ky. 1842) why did it take so long for women in Kentucky to gain the rights they deserved. (Fathers of Conscience Jones 2009)The issue of the rights of women both black and white was being fought on both Judicial and legal fronts. Widows were granted the right to own property and women were proving to be quite capable of running the family business.
For a nation that fought for its independence it took a long time for “these truths we hold to be self evident” to be evident when it came to women suffrage. Nations like New Zealand (1893) and Australia (1902) granted women the right to vote before legislation would even be introduced in the U.S. congress. The fifteenth amendment, “Race no bar to vote” was ratified in 1870 it would then be 50 years before women can vote in the U.S. and in reality it meant only white women.
The roaring 20’s gave way to the great depression and women being the natural caregivers saw their role, in most cases out of necessity, expand to include bread winner and protector. See the effects that the abuse of alcohol had on the family, women successfully lobbied for the prohibition act.

by Gaurice

19th Amendment

September 17, 2010 in 1920s-30s, Historical Decades, Political history

In class we talk a lot about women rights and equality to all. We would also speak about the 19th amendment . I had lots of questions about the 19th amendment including: what does it actually say and when was it ratified. We spoke a lot of the 19th amendment but really I had no idea what it even was so I decided to research it.

I found alot of things out about the 19th amendment. It reads “voting rights of citizens of the United States shall not be denied on the basis of sex.” The amendment was ratified by the necessary 36th state in 1920. However, it took until 1984 to get the 48th state to ratify the amendment. I was startled that it would take over 60 years to have the country agree with the terms, and that was just 48 of the 50 states. I figure this was due to maybe the idea of people not seeing women as equals. I grew up in the 90’s were women where just beginning to get in a way equal opportunities in jobs, sports, and other areas of expertise.

There were many groups that were fighting to get equality for both sexes. I was more interested in groups that were anti woman’s suffrage. I wonder why would these women fight against each other and think that them having the right to vote would be a bad thing. Maybe women felt the country was not ready to take on the load of suffrage. There were some women out there who probably felt that women should not be in positions of power  and should follow their husbands. I don’t agree with these thoughts but i feel no one will ever know because it happened in the 20’s.

by kcjohn2

Suffrage for All?

September 17, 2010 in 1920s-30s, Social history

There are many pioneers of women’s suffrage. My question is, how progressive were these progressive thinkers?

One of the first trailblazers for women’s suffrage in Kentucky was Laura Clay.  Clay was not only a leader for women’s suffrage in the state of Kentucky, but throughout the entire south. She founded the Equal Rights Association in Fayette County in 1888 and went on to establish the association as one of the leading groups for suffrage in the country. Equal rights evoke a sense of freedom for all. This was not the case to Laura Clay, who was strictly defending the rights of white women. Having grown up in the south, this was the typical mindset of the time. For such a forward thinker, how could this be? The opposite can be said of Sophonisba Breckinridge, a born and bred Kentuckian, who later spent her life in Chicago. Sophonisba spent her life in Chicago dedicated to social reform for all. Not only is she remembered for her social work, but also for her membership in various women’s clubs and most notably the Chicago chapter of the NAACP. Could her more progressive thought come from her move to the north, where people were more likely to have been open minded towards these even more forward thinking thoughts.

It is amazing to see the two different degrees of progressivism and put them into prospective with time and geographical reference. Clay was such a pioneer for the white woman’s suffrage, but yet still did not believe in blacks being afforded these same rights, while Breckinridge was seeking rights for all. These two women show the varying degree of progressive thinking in the early suffrage movement.

by becca

Emma Guy Cromwell as pioneer for women in KY

September 13, 2010 in 1920s-30s, Political history

This website gives many facts about Emma Guy Cromwell’s life, including what she accomplished in her lifetime. It also has a great quote for her:

“Time has softened but has not dimmed this grief and I have found a panacea in hard work, and filled my life with duty and my heart with thought for others.”

This is a great description of her because she worked diligently to achieve a name for herself in Kentucky politics and paved the way for all women who would hold future offices in the state. She was spot on when she said that she filled her lifer with duty and her heart with thought for others because in doing all her work for woman’s rights she was trying to improve her own life as well as every other woman. Thanks to her we have many more opportunities and equal rights as everyone else that we might not have had if Cromwell had not stood up for what she believed in.

The fact that she held so many different positions in Kentucky politics really shows that she was not only focused on one subject dealing with the rights of woman, but that she wanted to improve all aspects of the subject as she possibly could. Thankfully, Cromwell wrote Cromwell’s Compendium of Parliamentary Law and an autobiography so we can continue to reflect upon all the ideas and beliefs that she held and forge forward with the rights of women, not only in the state of Kentucky, but everywhere else in the United States also.

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