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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The United States was a pioneer in the development of women’s rights ideas and activism. Far-seeing women, determined to find an active and equal place in the nation’s political affairs, pushed long and hard to realize America’s democratic promise. Over three-quarters of a century, women’s rights and suffrage leaders steadily agitated their cause through a shifting American political landscape, from the careful innovations of the early national period, through the expansive involvements of antebellum politics, into the dramatic shifts of revolution and reaction in the post–Civil War years, up to the modernization of the Progressive Era. The meaning and content of “womanhood,” the sign under which these campaigns were conducted, also shifted. Labor, class, and especially race inclusions and exclusions were contentious dimensions of the American women’s rights movement, as they were of American liberal democracy in general.

Keywords: suffrage, women’s rights, Nineteenth Amendment, National American Woman Suffrage Association, Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida B. Wells, Carrie Chapman Catt, International Woman Suffrage Association

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