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.

2 responses to Separate but not equal

  1. Clearly we have made some mistakes in the past as a coountry. The so called ‘New Women’ of the early 20th century like Cromwell, Flanery and Wilson were really not the first women to take a stand towards more rights. They followed what other women were already doing in other parts of the country and globe. They were able to voice their opinions on a state level which was very positive for women all across the bluegrass.

  2. In giving women the right to vote, the white men of the time lost some of their power over society. Although in 1842 the white slave owner did leave his illegitimate slave child his estate, HE had the power to do so. Giving women the right to vote gave the ‘New Woman’ an even greater power they had never possessed. Giving women the right to vote is an altogether different power; the vote gave women a voice, where land might only give them a higher social status.

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