Suffragist Internationalism

Suffragist Internationalism - Adam Cornwell 802306376 Dr...

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Adam Cornwell 802306376 Dr. Reed Suffragist Internationalism Women’s suffrage and women’s history in general, is a widely understudied topic in today’s world. While many historians claim that women did not actually fight for their own political equality, the history of women’s suffrage is actually a great story of strength and validity. Most of the knowledge about women’s suffrage deals with America, or just one nation. Suffragist Internationalism deals with the enfranchisement of women on an international basis. According to Ellen DuBois in Unequal Sisters , there are three phases of suffragist internationalism. The three phases are Woman’s Temperance and Woman Suffrage, Woman Suffrage in the Second Socialist International, and Militant Suffragism around the world. The first international woman suffrage movement was organized by the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, or the WCTU (DuBois, p.278). This union, formed in the United States in 1874, began as a Protestant women’s organization that became very ambitious and politically aggressive. The leader of this transformation was named Frances Willard (DuBois, p.278). Willard helped expand the WCTU by introducing what she called her “Do Everything Policy”. The policy was a structure in which separate issues were pursued within semiautonomous “departments”. Willard was able to convince WCTU woman that temperance itself was a political issue. Previously, there were only small politically isolated groups of advanced women, while Willard led her constituency to advocate woman suffrage on a much larger stage. “Under Willard’s leadership the WCTU was one of the first environments within which woman suffrage
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Adam Cornwell 802306376 Dr. Reed was made comprehensible and compelling to substantial numbers of women” (DuBois, p.279). The WCTU then became more international as it was spread by American missionaries. Two of the most fearless missionaries were Jessie Ackerman and Mary Leavitt. These two were the first to successfully bring the idea to Australia and New Zealand. Many said that in South Australia and New Zealand, they already had WCTUs before Leavitt arrived. What Leavitt brought was the “do everything” vision that Willard first developed. “In 1893 Colorado was the first state in which voters authorized women
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Suffragist Internationalism - Adam Cornwell 802306376 Dr...

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