Women in the Progressive Era

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Ever since the Civil War ended, woman have been fighting. Fighting for jobs, for divorce, for respect, but most importantly, fighting for the right to vote. Fiery founders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were growing older, and so were their ideals. In order for the movement to survive, the suffragists needed a surge of support, in this came in bonding the major two suffragist groups together. Women worked together to push their rights farther than just the home; from women’s clubs to city hall, the woman’s voice had been silenced for too long. Because the women came together, their goal was achieved, not only the allowance for a female to cast her ballot, but more importantly, a means of becoming economically independent.
The reason the women’s suffrage movement didn’t gain nearly as much momentum as it could have in the mid 1800’s is because in western front, women controlled their own lives. Surrounded by wildlife, there was nobody to govern the woman other than her husband, who was out of the house for weeks at a time. Women could practically govern themselves, and the need for a voice to be heard was almost non-existent. However, when the masses began to migrate to cities, a new calling emerged from the feminine side of the nation, the right to vote. During the 1880’s and 1890’s, there were two main suffragist movements, the AWSA and the NWSA. The NWSA, nationally known for its radical leaders, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was the more popular of the two groups, and focused on changing the federal laws against women and reforming the nation’s ideas on how women were to be treated. Based on an individual state level, the AWSA, led by Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell, found its biggest strength in being racially diverse and more able to cater to the individual rather than the masses. By the end of the Civil War, both groups were suffering to gain support, and needed an effective way to regain the movement’s attention. Change was needed, and this came in the form of collaboration.
The woman in the progressive era were very different from those in any other time period in American history. Due to industrialization, women no longer needed to be homemakers, women could finally achieve economic independence. As more and more women progressed along the societal ladder, women began to take part in major movements, one of this being suffrage.

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