Votes for Women: The Struggle for Suffrage Revisited

By Jean H. Baker | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The New York Woman's Movement and
the Civil War
Faye Dudden

The traditional story of woman suffrage has been shaped by the assumption that women had to win the vote before they could hope to exercise political power or influence. In this account, the Civil War figured as a mere hiatus in women's activism or at best a prelude to the flurry of suffrage agitation that marked the Reconstruction era. During the war, it was argued, women's rights activists, who had hitherto shunned formal organization, learned its value through an organization called the Women's Loyal National League (WLNL) through which they mounted a massive petition campaign for the final abolition of slavery in the Thirteenth Amendment. At the end of the war, emancipation accomplished, these abolitionist women sought recompense for their patriotic labors in the form of woman suffrage. But the women were, in Eleanor Flexner's words, “so inexperienced in politics” that they failed to realize that in the 1860s woman suffrage was “far ahead of practical political possibilities.” 1

The New York woman's movement during the Civil War provides a case study that challenges this traditional account: it reveals that prominent women's rights activists in fact entered politics before suffrage. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and their coworkers in New York State were anything but naïve about politics, and the war years were not really a hiatus. Their political activities before and during the war, which were organized around what I will term a “New York strategy,” gave them an advanced education in legislative maneuver and partisan politics. They


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Votes for Women: The Struggle for Suffrage Revisited


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 199

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?