The Road to the Vote

Women, Suffrage, and the Public Sphere

Margaret Smith CroccoSeventy-five years ago, on August 26, 1920, Tennessee became the thirty-sixth state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. Tennessee's endorsement completed the three-fourths requirement for amending the Constitution; women of the United States now had the right to vote. While New Jersey had set an early precedent in allowing women and free blacks to vote for a brief period after 1776, this right had been ended in 1807. As early as 1869, a number of western states, including Wyoming and Utah, while still territories, provided for female suffrage, later coming into the Union with female suffrage intact. Several eastern and midwestern states during this same period gave women "school suffrage" (e.g., Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont) and "municipal suffrage" (e.g., Kansas). By 1917, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and a number of other states had granted "presidential suffrage" to their female citizens. As their names imply, these forms of suffrage were limited benchmarks on the path to full voting rights for women.
In retrospect, the momentum for woman suffrage had been building in the forty years prior to passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. Nevertheless, as with many episodes in history, what seems inevitable from the perspective of hindsight scarcely appeared so to those waging a difficult struggle to gain acceptance of women as full-fledged citizens. Still, had the leaders of the woman suffrage movement not shared a faith in their ultimate victory, they might have given up in the face of numerous setbacks. Even for the faithful, the timing of a victory had been an open question since 1848, when the Seneca Falls convention launched an organized women's rights movement, including the right to vote, among the demands contained in the "Declaration of Sentiments." As late as 1915, four eastern states all defeated suffrage referenda.

Between 1915 and 1920, a number of elements finally fell into place and brought to reality the fruits of more than seventy years of concerted action by women and men who believed themselves heirs to the legacy of rhetoric, advanced during the American Revolution, proclaiming the natural rights of all human beings. The first generation of suffrage supporters after Seneca Falls often engaged in multiple forms of social action, especially abolition and temperance. Later, more conservative suffragists at the turn of the century continued to emphasize the ameliorative role of female activism in a society beset by the "evils" accompanying industrialization, urbanization, and immigration.

This issue of Social Education throws a wide net, therefore, in looking at the varied ways in which women have expressed themselves as citizens. The authors of these articles hope that these materials will enhance the reader's understanding of a central story in American history, a story that belongs in our nation's classrooms. At this point, seventy-five years since the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, our theme can best be understood in the relation of Kathy Scott's article on gender harassment to the rest of the issue: women's work for justice and equity continues.

The Early Obstacles
Eighteenth-century writers like Judith Sargent Murray, Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, and Benjamin Rush emphasized the central role women should play in the new republic and called for improvement in female education. Well-educated mothers would contribute well-educated male citizens to the fledgling democracy. As Sara Evans puts it, this ideology of "republican motherhood" brought together women's "familial commitments" and "a newly discovered sense of civic duty and individual possibility" (1989, 59).
The precipitating event of the American women's rights movement resulted from an insult experienced by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1848. Women abolitionists attending the meeting were directed to sit in the balcony while the men were allowed to sit on the convention floor. Such symbolic representation of women's second-class citizenship in the midst of the radical anti-slavery movement prompted Mott and Stanton to call their famous meeting for Seneca Falls, New York, in July of 1848. Nancy Woloch characterizes the movement that resulted as "... at once an evangelical crusade that aimed at a massive 'awakening,' a humanitarian rescue mission, and a modern pressure group. Unique in the context of antebellum reform, it challenged the assumptions on which social space was divided" (1984, 192).

Seneca Falls served as a lightning rod for those women and men who felt that women's status needed to be addressed in light of the democratizing effects of the American Revolution. The Declaration of Sentiments was modeled on the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal..." The document cited numerous grievances concerning women's legal and societal rights: for example, women's lack of property rights and women's exclusion from higher education, the ministry, business, and the professions. The cause of women's subjugation was identified as the "absolute tyranny" of man.

The only proposal in the Declaration of Sentiments to divide those attending the Seneca Falls Convention was the demand for women's right to vote. Even among women's rights advocates, giving women suffrage was construed in 1848 as an assault on the traditional family, a slippery slope toward dissolution of the God-given order of human relations. Suffrage was the only plank in the Declaration's platform not to pass unanimously. Were it not for the strenuous lobbying of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass, the resolution might not have passed at all.

Three hundred people, forty of them men, attended that first women's rights convention. Only one participant lived to see the suffrage amendment ratified in 1920. During the 1850s, a series of conventions were held for women's rights around the country. These conventions and later female reform efforts focused on property, divorce, and child custody rights.

Until the Civil War, the abolition, temperance, and women's rights movements were closely allied. For example, Lucy Stone, her husband Henry Blackwell, Antoinette Brown Blackwell (the first female ordained minister in the United States), and Sarah and Angelina Grimké all divided their time between causes. Some women took on other social change efforts. Dorothea Dix emerged as a public advocate (one well known for her efficacy in dealing with recalcitrant state legislators) for prison reform and creation of asylums for the insane. Other women worked on dress reform, poor relief, and evangelism. Even for these forward-looking women, suffrage remained a somewhat divisive agenda item until after the turn of the century.

As the country moved toward war in 1861, the related subjects of slavery and states' rights pushed all others into the background. During the war, women put aside their work on temperance and suffrage, concentrating on aiding the war effort. Abolitionists like Stone and Stanton hoped that an end to slavery and greater rights for African Americans would mean analogous justice for women. During the Civil War, women of the North established thousands of aid societies under the Sanitary Commission, led by Dorothea Dix. The funds raised by women of the North in support of the war effort and the emphasis on hygienic care for the wounded aided the war effort immeasurably.

Women's work in the Sanitary Commission gave thousands of women an opportunity for broader engagement in the public sphere. In serving as nurses, women broke the barrier that had kept nursing a male profession. For many women of both North and South left widows at war's end, post-war involvement in the public sphere as members of the labor force became a matter of economic necessity.

During the 1860s, Congressional passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments altered the landscape for advocates of women's right to vote. The language of the 14th Amendment specifically disfranchised women by linking the words "citizen" and "inhabitant" to the word "male" whenever the vote was discussed, introducing the category of gender to the Constitution for the first time. By establishing the right to vote separately in the 15th Amendment, Congress reaffirmed its belief that the franchise was not automatically linked to citizenship. Qualifications for voting other than race would continue to be left up to the individual states by the terms of these amendments.

The question of support for the 14th and 15th Amendments divided the women's rights movement. Because the abolition and women's rights movements were so closely enmeshed, these amendments presented real difficulties for women like Stanton and Stone. In the end, Stone and her husband Henry Blackwell chose to support the amendments, even though they represented a major setback for women's rights advocates. Elizabeth Cady Stanton split with Frederick Douglass, Stone, and Blackwell. Stanton was outraged that African Americans, Chinese Americans, and others would be deemed more fit to vote than women. In choosing to campaign against the amendments, Stanton alienated many of her former colleagues in the abolition movement.

Women's Organizations
The effect of this situation was the creation of two separate women's rights organizations in the late 1860s: the American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Stone and Julia Ward Howe; and the National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The NWSA allowed only women to be officials; promoted suffrage, divorce reform, and equal pay for women; and lobbied for a national suffrage amendment. The AWSA welcomed men as members, focused exclusively on suffrage, and worked for this through changes in state laws.
In 1875, the Supreme Court confirmed the Congressional view by ruling in the case of Minor v. Happersett that suffrage was not a right attached to women's citizenship. After this failure, NWSA turned to Congress to gain an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In 1878, the "Anthony Amendment" was first presented in Congress by Senator A. A. Sargent of California, a friend of Susan B. Anthony. The proposed amendment read: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex." Although defeated, an important step had been taken. It would, nevertheless, be a long journey to passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

The differences between NWSA and AWSA ran deeper than strategy or breadth of agenda. The AWSA was in most ways a more conservative organization; not surprisingly, it had the larger following. AWSA constituents adhered more closely to the "cult of true womanhood," a formula of purity, piety, domesticity, and submissiveness. According to AWSA protocol, women's activities for the vote ought to reflect women's gentle, moral nature. Letter writing campaigns and philanthropic work designed to show women worthy of the "privilege" of voting defined the scope of AWSA suffrage activity. First published in 1870, the Woman's Journal, the AWSA organ, served as an important clearinghouse for suffrage stories and strategies from state societies around the country.

By contrast, NWSA moved away from the conservative cultural prescriptions for women during the Victorian era, sanctioning more aggressive tactics in pursuit of an amendment to the federal constitution. In 1872, NWSA even backed the presidential candidacy of the flamboyant free-love advocate, Victoria Woodhull. NWSA also tried reaching out to working-class women, as well as the expanding number of college-educated women. Stone and Howe criticized Stanton for her acceptance of financial support for The Revolution, the NWSA publication, from George Train, a racist.

Not until 1890 did the two groups finally overcome their antagonisms and merge into the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The mutual recognition that a divided movement hurt women's chance for success and a desire to focus on achieving the ballot above all else brought the two factions together. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was chosen as the first president of NAWSA.

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, western states proved the first testing grounds for the effects of giving women the vote. Territories used the vote as an inducement for women to settle in the West. Women would supposedly bring a civilizing influence to these frontier societies. As a result of women's early enfranchisement in Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming, suffrage campaigns in the East were treated to rhetoric claiming that women voters both purified politics and produced healthier babies! Better babies aside, recent historical evidence from the Western states seems to suggest that suffrage did not deliver on its promises to clean up society and government there (Degler 1980, 357).

Despite (or perhaps because of) these and other claims concerning the beneficial effects of women's voting in the West, progress in the East came considerably more slowly. Substantial opposition from entrenched business interests worked against woman suffrage, especially in states where the liquor industry had influence. A vote for woman suffrage was seen as a vote for temperance. Suffrage leaders like Stanton claimed that immigrant populations often opposed women's rights because of their views on alcohol and women's "proper place." However, one study of New Jersey's referendum on woman suffrage in 1915 suggests that immigrants supported suffrage in proportions similar to that of native voters (Mahoney 1969).

Suffragists recognized that men in power would decide the fate of woman suffrage at both the state and national levels. Many men in state and national government actively campaigned for the suffrage cause; others opposed it. At the same time, suffragists reluctantly conceded that many women also challenged the concept of their own enfranchisement. By 1915, the "antis," as these men and women were called, were well organized and effective, especially in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. In New Jersey, for example, Mrs. Grover Cleveland and Mrs. Garret A. Hobart, widow of McKinley's vice-president, used their public prominence to campaign against women's right to vote.

The arguments of the "antis" were numerous but centered on the notion that woman suffrage would destroy the family by upsetting the unity that came from having the paternal head of household serve as the voice of the familial unit. The conventional view of women's position in the polity was stated by Alice George, leader of the Massachusetts anti-suffrage movement: "Women are not a class, they are a sex whose interests in a well-ordered government are represented, automatically and inevitably, by the men of their social group" (as quoted in Degler 1980, 353). Suffrage supporters recognized that they needed to convince both male and female "antis" of the importance of giving women the vote.

From the late nineteenth century onward, the most significant women's group in support of woman suffrage was the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, established in 1874 by Annie Wittenmyer and Frances Willard. Between 1879 and 1899, under the charismatic leadership of Frances Willard, the WCTU became the largest female organization in existence in the United States and one that made an early endorsement of woman suffrage. Willard's "Do Everything" policy encouraged women to try every means possible to bring about an end to the scourge of alcohol (an example of her arguments is provided in the excerpts from her Home Protection Manual on p. 259 of this issue). Gaining the vote for women would allow an even greater expansion of temperance activity into mainstream politics. By the 1890s, more than 150,000 women had joined the WCTU to give vent to frustration against male stewardship of the family and society, which had been undermined, they believed, by alcohol.

Women's emergent political interests often dovetailed with those of the Populist and Progressive movements. For example, WCTU members in the Midwest and South joined Populist groups in an effort to keep the family farm viable. By 1900, the General Federation of Women's Clubs claimed 160,000 members. While women's clubs began in the late nineteenth century as literary and self-cultivation societies, their activities rapidly turned toward civic betterment. Women's clubs raised money and lobbied state and local governments for libraries, kindergartens, day nurseries, and playgrounds. As the State and General Federations of Women's Clubs became more involved on the national political stage, they called for child and female labor laws, consumer protection, and conservation measures. However, the General Federation resisted putting the official weight of its nearly one million members behind woman suffrage until 1914.

The old argument for woman suffrage based on female equality gradually gave way to a new defense of suffrage based on maternalism and expediency in combating the perceived threat of the immigrant vote. Women's vote would contribute to cleaning up the cities and to countering the problems associated with industrialization and immigration. Jane Addams, whose Hull House became a model for settlement houses across the nation, exemplified a new level of professional attainment for educated women. Female graduates from schools like Oberlin, Mt. Holyoke, Wellesley, and Addams' alma mater, the Rockford (Ill.) Female Seminary, brought about the establishment in 1882 of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, precursor to the American Association of University Women. Together, these groups argued that women's maternal nature made them the most effective moral caretakers of the society.

Stanton's and Anthony's leadership of NAWSA passed on to less distinguished hands after 1900. The momentum of the movement slowed. Under Anna Howard Shaw (1904 to 1915), NAWSA relied chiefly on state educational campaigns to gain support for suffrage from voting men. Letter-writing campaigns to congressmen prompted a periodic resumption of efforts to gain passage of the Anthony Amendment during a time in suffrage history generally characterized as "the doldrums." Emblematic of the mentality of those in the movement was the reluctance to include African American or immigrant women in the organization's ranks for fear of alienating its mainstream, middle-class constituency. In 1913, Illinois suffrage officials asked the African American reformer Ida Wells Barnett, representing the Alpha Suffrage Club, not to march with the white delegation in a suffrage parade in Chicago because news of this might offend southern women.

Southern suffragist leaders like Laura Clay, Kate Gordon, Belle Kearney, and Nellie Somerville were actively courted by NAWSA leadership. Well before the turn of the century, Henry Blackwell, the former abolitionist, played a central role in developing the southern strategy for woman suffrage as the key to solving the south's "Negro problem." As one study of southern suffragists concludes, "The sympathy of the northern suffragists for the views of southern suffragists on the race issue stemmed largely from their own fear and resentment of the enfranchisement of new immigrants" (Wheeler 1993, 115). Especially after 1900, NAWSA expressed the urgency of giving women the vote in terms of "race suicide," "the foreign menace," and "social purity."

The Final Push
A new generation of leadership assumed power after 1915 with the emergence of Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul. Catt's "Winning Plan" called for throwing out the old bureaucratic structure and personnel of NAWSA. She replaced older suffragists with younger women who were comfortable in the public limelight and committed to working full time for the cause.
In the last five years of the suffrage campaign, arguments for woman suffrage based on equity and those based on social expediency stood side by side. Although Catt began some new initiatives to broaden the membership, there was little official disavowal of the racist sentiments of previous periods. While the movement remained overwhelmingly middle class, white, and native born, some state organizations such as those in New Jersey and New York recognized the need to cross racial, ethnic, and class barriers, and actively recruited African American and immigrant members after 1915.

Alice Paul, a New Jersey Quaker, was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and later studied in London, where she became involved with the radical suffrage activities of Emmeline Pankhurst. The English suffragettes marched, heckled, and attacked politicians with their fists; landed in jail; and went on hunger strikes. Thus, Paul acquired firsthand experience with a more confrontational political style as did Harriet Stanton Blatch, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whose marriage to an Englishman put her in touch with this more militant approach. After living in England, Blatch returned to the United States to become a leader of the New York suffrage movement, initiating the public relations vehicle of a "suffrage parade" in 1910. Seen as radical at first, these events eventually acquired enough respectability to attract socialites as participants in the parades down Fifth Avenue in New York City. In 1917, in large measure as a result of Blatch's innovative ideas, New York successfully passed a woman suffrage referendum.

Upon returning from England, Alice Paul completed her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and worked with state suffragists there. In 1913, Paul moved to Washington, D.C., where she joined NAWSA, co-chairing the Congressional Committee with Lucy Burns. Drawing on her experiences in England, Paul immediately began a new tack. On March 3, the day before Woodrow Wilson's inauguration, Paul staged a parade of 5,000 suffragists, who distracted the crowds from Wilson's entrance into the city by train. Federal troops were called in, largely due to the hostile reaction of the crowd to the suffragists. It has been said that Wilson asked where the crowds were on his arrival. He was told that everyone was over watching the suffragists. As a result of the notoriety surrounding this debut, Paul became a national figure.

Shortly after Wilson's inauguration, delegations of suffragists began regular visits to him, lobbying for a shift away from the Democratic platform, which had not supported suffrage. Wilson held firm to his position that suffrage was a matter for the states to decide.

Wilson's limited support did not satisfy Alice Paul and the Congressional Union, the successor to the Congressional Committee. Beginning in 1914, the Union campaigned against Democratic candidates for Congress, regardless of their attitude toward woman suffrage. The Union claimed credit for the defeat of twenty-three of the forty-three Democrats in the congressional elections of 1914 in those western states where women voted. The Congressional Union also opposed Wilson's re-election. In 1916, the Union met in Chicago to join forces with women from the twelve states where women had the presidential vote to become the National Woman's Party.

Initially, Carrie Chapman Catt found Paul's tactics an embarrassment. She and other NAWSA members felt the suffrage parades were unladylike and agitation against sympathetic Democrats counter-productive. However, the publicity generated by Paul's parade and those run by Harriet Stanton Blatch changed Catt's mind. In October of 1915, Catt joined a suffrage parade in New York that attracted 30,000 women, an indication of the growing popularity of the movement. Undoubtedly, the militant tactics of the National Woman's Party and the Women's Political Union made President Wilson and members of Congress more willing to work with the conservative suffragists of NAWSA.

The two national political party conventions in 1916 further confirmed the growing acceptance of woman suffrage. Six thousand suffragists of the National Woman's Party stood outside the Democratic convention hall in St. Louis with their signature yellow and purple banners and attire, demanding a plank on suffrage. Wilson prepared a statement that supported suffrage, but reiterated his belief that the vote for women was best achieved on a state-by-state basis.

The Republican candidate, Charles Evans Hughes, announced support for a suffrage amendment at the beginning of his campaign. However, after much debate, the GOP convention adopted a compromise resolution that favored extension of suffrage by state action.

Wilson's victory precipitated heightened action by Alice Paul and her followers, although the heavily female peace movement had supported Wilson's re-election. On January 10, 1917, the first suffrage pickets took up their posts by the White House. The president tipped his hat each time he and his wife, Edith, drove in and out the driveway past the pickets. Repeatedly, the picketers were taunted by onlookers and their banners torn from their hands. Only occasionally did the police give them protection from the crowds. Just as frequently, the picketing women were thrown in the District of Columbia jail.

When the United States entered World War I in April of 1917, the messages carried by these "silent sentinels" rebuked Wilson's claim that the country had joined the Allied cause "to make the world safe for democracy." The banners' messages accused "Kaiser Wilson" of valuing democracy abroad while denying the instrument of democracy, the vote, to taxpaying female citizens. Several suffragists were sentenced to the infamous Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia. There, the suffragists went on hunger strikes and were force-fed and physically mistreated.

The publicity surrounding these events generated both sympathy and antipathy for the suffragists. Carrie Chapman Catt publicly disavowed the picketing. For Wilson and his administration, the incidents created a public relations problem, with middle-class ladies, including the wife of Wilson's New Jersey re-election campaign manager, being hauled away from the White House in paddy wagons.

After the United States' entrance into World War I, women rallied to raise money and medical supplies to help the troops. Official NAWSA support of the war effort helped to dissolve opposition to suffrage from conservatives in both parties and brought a new sense that women "deserved" the vote. By late 1917, Wilson gave his written approval for a House committee on suffrage. An additional incentive may have been the number of new states added to the roster of those allowing presidential, primary, or full suffrage to women: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. Furthermore, in 1918, England adopted woman suffrage.

Wilson met that year with Democratic Congressmen to gain their support for suffrage, linking it to women's war contributions. Later that year, the president gave a speech to the Senate, requesting that it back the bill as a "war measure." However, the Senate refused Wilson's initiative. An attempt the following year brought another defeat in the Senate, but this time by only one vote.

On May 20, 1919, Wilson called a Republican Congress into special session, one that was eagerly anticipating the 1920 national elections and the possibility of female support at that time. This time, both the House and Senate finally passed the measure. Many of the Senators who opposed suffrage simply failed to come to the floor that day.

Ratification posed further difficulties. Even in states with suffrage, roadblocks emerged. With the exceptions of Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee, southern states refused to ratify. On June 10, 1919, Wisconsin ratified, followed closely by Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Kansas on June 16. The suffrage states moved surprisingly slowly: Montana acted on August 2 and Utah on September 30. California, Colorado, and Wyoming delayed until November, December, and January, respectively. Over the summer months of 1920, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and West Virginia all ratified. Finally in late August, by a one vote margin, Tennessee completed the process. The struggle for suffrage was won.

Making a Difference
During the 1920s, NAWSA evolved into the League of Women Voters. Alice Paul's National Woman's Party shifted its goal to passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. The differing visions of these two organizations persisted after 1920, with the League in opposition to the ERA.
As Kathleen McCarthy has argued, in "societies intent upon rendering (women) powerless," female activism takes place through the creation of "parallel power structures" (1990, 1). Through the channel of voluntarism, American women have created powerful public organizations, launched new professions, and changed the Constitution. Women of all ages, classes, ethnicities, and races-often separately but sometimes together-developed a suffragist infrastructure rooted in local and state politics and coordinated effectively at the national level. This network of suffrage societies, temperance organizations, and women's clubs exhibited tremendous creativity and tenacity over the nearly one hundred years it took to gain woman suffrage.

Women's parallel power structures achieved a notable political milestone with the Nineteenth Amendment. Many less tangible accomplishments in the public sphere stand alongside this historic victory. Women's rights groups eroded male hegemony over the public sphere by openly opposing theories of gender differentiation that excluded women. Even where female associations justified women's social activism by employing the vocabulary of maternalism, they undermined the limitations that a rigid gender ideology prescribed for women.

Nevertheless, as women moved into certain sectors of the public arena, a backlash occurred. This can be seen most obviously in the imposition of quotas on the rapidly expanding number of women entering medical school in the first quarter of this century. Medical schools became threatened by the rising proportion of female students and sharply limited their access, significantly reducing the number of women in medical school after the turn of the century.

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women's organizations also sustained democratic dialogue about citizenship and its rights, privileges, and responsibilities, applying the ideological lessons of the American Revolution in an expansive manner. To the degree that women's assertions of their rights as citizens became intertwined with calls for social reform, women advanced an understanding of citizenship beyond the franchise, toward civic activism for the common good. On the local and state level, women's promotion of kindergartens, day nurseries, civic beautification, libraries, public playgrounds, temperance, and conservation stimulated government to adopt a broader definition of its own responsibilities. Despite their formal exclusion from the national body politic until 1920, many women clearly recognized that while the vote may have been the apotheosis of the democratic process, citizenship demanded an engagement with the public sphere that went beyond suffrage.

The essays in this special issue of Social Education speak to the myriad ways in which women have forged their parallel power structures, recast their relation to the public sphere, and changed our understanding of what it means to be a citizen. Andrea Libresco's discussion of the different approaches taken by Stanton and Anthony, Amelia Fry's review of the work of Alice Paul and the ERA, and Neale McGoldrick's introduction to the contributions of African American suffragists reflect the diversity in philosophy, interests, and tactics of women and men working for suffrage between 1848 and 1920. Petra Munro's article on women educators engaged in social activism reflects the closely allied nature of women's political and social reform efforts. Becky Cain's article on the development of the League of Women Voters, also celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary in 1995, suggests the ways in which women have asserted political influence through mainstream political channels since gaining the franchise. The contribution of Margaret Smith Crocco and Della Barr Brooks provides something of a scorecard on women's political progress since 1920 and reinforces Kathy Scott's theme that much work remains to be done concerning women's issues. Together, these articles encapsulate the work of a set of female communities engaged in broad-based political participation that marks a counterpoise to current civic apathy.

The materials for teachers here-lesson plans, timelines, and bibliographies-offer teachers one set of suggestions for incorporating this rich and stimulating history into the elementary or secondary classroom. While the subject at hand is the Nineteenth Amendment, the themes of this women's history issue of Social Education provide an urgent reminder of the necessity for participation of all Americans in the democratic process. As such, this story deserves a central place in the nation's social studies curricula.

References
Degler, Carl. At Odds: Women and the Family in America from the Revolution to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980.Evans, Sara M. Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America. New York: The Free Press, 1989.Flexner, Eleanor. Century of Struggle: The Women's Rights Movement in the United States. Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1975.Irwin, Inez Haynes. The Story of Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party. Washington, DC: The National Woman's Party, 1977.Mahoney, Joseph. "Woman Suffrage and the Urban Masses." New Jersey History 87, no. 3 (1969): 151-172.McBride, Genevieve. On Wisconsin Women: Working for Their Rights from Settlement to Suffrage. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1993.McCarthy, Kathleen D. Lady Bountiful Revisited: Women, Philanthropy and Power. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990.McGoldrick, Neale and Margaret Crocco. Reclaiming Lost Ground: The Struggle for Woman Suffrage in New Jersey. Trenton: New Jersey Historical Commission and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, 1994.Scott, Anne Firor and Andrew McKay Scott. One Half the People: The Fight for Woman Suffrage. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1982.Wheeler, Marjorie Spruill. New Women of the South: The Leaders of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the Southern States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience. New York: McGraw Hill, 1984.

Margaret Smith Crocco is assistant professor in the Program in Social Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University.