Why so Long?

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Date Submitted: 09/23/2012 11:26 AM

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Mary Trice

Why so Long?

HIS204 American History Since 1865

Patrick Williams

June 27, 2011

Since the first settlers came to America on the Mayflower, women have had important roles in life and survival of both family and community. All through history women have always stood by the side of men in all kinds of climates and conditions. Women have helped raise crops, cook meals, tend to the sick, bare children, and trail blazes all in the dream of a better life in America. Women also have aided in wars, either by producing supplies or tending the injured. But yet, women did not receive the right to vote until 1920. The battle for this right took years of persistent fighting.

Historians list the years 1890 – 1920 as the Progressive Era. Davidson, Delay, Heyrman, Lytle, & Stoff state, “the goals of progressives were broadly social – to create a “good society” where people could live decently, harmoniously, and prosperously, along middle-class lines” (2008.pp.634). Many Americans during this time organized associations to devise solutions to the myriad problems created by industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. Projects such as the New England Kitchen and the Hull House were settlement houses started by women that wanted reform. Despite women’s lack of voting power women acted politically to transform their communities (Anderson & Judson.1999). No matter how politically active women acted during the Progressive Era, this was not the beginning of women’s suffrage.

The beginning of women’s suffrage was much earlier. The beginning of women’s suffrage was in 1848 when the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York was held. It was at this convention of over two hundred women and forty men that the “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” drafted by Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony was introduced (Chapman & Mills.2006). The “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” outlined the main issues of the women’s...