The long struggle for equality in the voting booth ended, with little public attention, on August 26, 1920. After decades of emotional political battles, the final certification of the Nineteenth Amendment must have seemed like an echo from the pre-World War I Progressive Era. In one sense, the nation had come a long way. When Mary E. Lease, the Populist-later Progressive-leader for women's suffrage, campaigned with the Populist presidential candidate in 1892, one southern newspaper wrote that "the sight of a woman traveling around the country making political speeches ... [is] simply disgusting. Southern manhood revolts at the idea of degrading womanhood to the level of politics."
While all textbooks include material about women's suffrage, the information is often splintered chronologically. Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Seneca Falls are included in the pre-Civil War chapters; Susan B. Anthony is often found in the chapter on the growth of labor; and Carrie Chapman Catt is leading the march of twenty thousand suffragists down New York's Fifth Avenue in the chapter on the 1920s.
Additionally, many books ignore or downplay the victories prior to the Nineteenth Amendment. Wyoming, along with Colorado, Utah, and Idaho, led the way by opening the ballot box in all elections to women. By 1914, women could vote in eleven western states.
An annotated listing of relevant and interesting teacher and student resources found in the ERIC system is below. One excellent resource for materials about women's issues and women's suffrage is the National Women's History Project in Windsor, California. They have two sets of outstanding materials that are not included in ERIC because of technical reasons. They include a "Women Win the Vote" gazette, a sixteen-page newspaper that includes a chronology, an analytical essay, biographical sketches, and an annotated bibliography. The project also has an "Illustrated Timeline of the Woman Suffrage Movement," an eight-panel poster set. Write to the project at 7738 Bell Road, Dept. P, Windsor, CA 95492 for a forty-eight-page catalog.
ERIC items followed by an ED number are available in microfiche and/or paper copies from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS). For information about prices, call EDRS at (800) 443-3742. Credit card orders are accepted and fax or express mail services are available. Entries followed by an EJ number, annotated monthly in Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE), are not available through EDRS, but can be located in the journal section of many larger libraries or through the UMI reprint service.
_____. "The Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls: A Lesson Plan." OAH Magazine of History 3 (Sum.-Fall 1988): 53-56. EJ 391 317. Presents a secondary lesson using primary sources such as the Declaration of Sentiments from the 1848 Seneca Falls convention on women's rights. Provides discussion questions and related activities.
Clemens, Elisabeth J. "Organizational Repertoires and Institutional Change: Women's Groups and the Transformation of U.S. Politics, 1890-1920." American Journal of Sociology 98 (Jan. 1993): 755-98. EJ 464 737. Discusses social changes brought about in the United States as a result of the women's suffrage movement. Describes political innovations used by women's groups in the struggle for voting rights.
Gallagher, Arlene F. "A Talk Show from the Past." Update on Law-Related Education 15 (Win. 1991): 20-22. EJ 433 735. Describes a two-day activity in which elementary students examine voting rights and women's suffrage. Also describes a game, "Assemble, Reassemble," and a student-produced talk show with students role-playing leaders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Woodrow Wilson, and Frederick Douglass.
Hardesty, Carolyn, ed. Carrie Chapman Catt and Woman Suffrage. Iowa City: State Historical Society of Iowa, 1989. ED314 306. This issue of Goldfinch, a journal for students, explores the life of Carrie Chapman Catt through archival and primary sources. Includes student activities, a timeline, and many photographs.
Jacobsen, Margaret. "Giving Women the Vote: Using Primary Source Documents to Teach about the Fight for Women's Suffrage." OAH Magazine of History 3 (Sum.-Fall 1988): 50-52. EJ 391 316. Presents a lesson in which students use primary sources to learn about the fight for women's suffrage.
Mitchell, Catherine. "Historiography: A New Direction for Research on the Women's Rights Press." Journalism History 19 (Sum. 1993): 59-63. EJ 487 696. Examines the concept of privilege as a way of understanding the editorial opposition of The Revolution, the newspaper of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, to expansion of voting rights to African American men.
C. Frederick Risinger is associate director of ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Indiana University, Bloomington.