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Women in an Expanding Nation: Consolidation of the West, Mass Immigration, and the Crisis of the 1890s

Free «Women in an Expanding Nation: Consolidation of the West, Mass Immigration, and the Crisis of the 1890s» Essay Sample

The political motives for woman suffrage, conflict and coalition in the American West

Women from the American West had no democratic right to vote until 1869 when a thousand of women were given full suffrage rights after the approval of Wyoming Territory. The outcome was caused by national campaigns which were led by women. Majorly, these suffrage movements were promoted through the legacy of western conflicts which were brought due to religious differences, ethnic, racial, and gender inequalities. Women with similar interests formed coalitions to fight for the same cause. For instance, in relation to race, a specific suffrage movement formed coalitions to safeguard their common interests. The remarkable right to political equality was promoted by the suffrage movements, which gave women full mandate to express their democratic right to vote at any place, be it at home, workplaces, or at the community level. Later in the century, the West became a symbol of political equality.

Ida B. Wells’s “personal and community survival strategy in the New South” (Women’s America);

From 1880 to 1930, transformation of political rights and socialization privileges were highly evident in the U.S. Access to education, wage labor, and social national activities by women promoted a suffrage right which was fully obtained by 1919. The same year in the suffrage history, African Americans experienced lynching and disfranchisement in the south. Educated black women such as Ida B. Wells took advantage of the opportunity in their civic lives which were accruing to middle class women of the period. Unfortunately, they faced violence from many quarters. At the same time, African American women tapped the promise of the ‘woman’s Era’ as an achievement for the females. Ida B. Wells-Barnett had the experience f her life having gone through accomplishments and frustrations.


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In 1890, Well-Barnett changed the focus to lynching by resorting to the centre of organized resistance. She participated in community-building through organizing political protests and social criticism, which led her to conflicts with the ruling government. Besides, she was forced to work as a slave. As a survival strategy, she constructed social authority in a range of venues putting a lot of emphasis on going to exile in order to forge a lynching critique.

In the 1880s, Wells-Barnett became a self-supportive woman in Memphis where she engaged into a career that made her known internationally. She later moved to Illinois in Chicago and adopted the place as her new home. In Chicago, Wells-Barnett got married and gave birth to four children. She also engaged in innovations with the intention to deliver social justice to the African American population in the south. Among her many undertakings in Chicago was the Negro Fellowship League, a major social settlement in 1910. Therefore, Well-Barnett focused her attention on the community to affirm gender equality.

An overview of women’s motives for immigrating to the United States, the experiences of immigrant women and their daughters, and the settlement house movements

There were many reasons that led to women’s immigration to the U.S. For example, China faced serious disasters between 1840 and 1850, including a massive drought that hit Henen in 1947. This hostile situation pushed women to start their journey in search of life-supporting habitats, reaching the United States in the process. Women were also motivated by a number of ways. For example, young girls went to America for personal fulfillments, including the Chinese female students going for educational purposes. Chinese women were also pushed into the U.S. by the thirst of wanting to reunite with their families, their husbands, and fathers who were already in the U.S. Other women also went to the U.S. with the intention to marry Chinese merchants and have better lives due to the economic advancement which had flourished the U.S. Unfortunately, women and their daughters were tricked into slavery and prostitution, making them suffer even more. Although some immigrants were employed by various companies in the U.S., they still lived in poverty because wages were not sustainable.

Roles played by women in the formation of alliances, unions, and political parties in the West

A focus on the National Grange and the Populist Party

Civil wars promoted immigration of women and children in the U.S.  The immigration increased population hence high demand for food. The demand for food attracted demonstrations to air farmers’ grievances that could favor their farming activities if the grievances were responded. As interested parties, women acted as catalysts for the formation of the movement, and other political parties who had their needs at hand such as the Populist Party and the Grange National party supported the. In so doing, they prepared food, wrote essays and debated over political issues, as was evident in the formation of the formation of the National Grange Party (NGP).  The NGP was founded in 1867 to advance social needs and secure economic backyards of farmers. In addition to agricultural services, the party also insured members. The founder, Oliver H. Kelly, incorporated with his niece to promote the status of women and equal pay-wage for equal jobs.

The Populists Party developed between the years 1889 and 1890. It was apolitical non-partisan party which dominated the East and West of the U.S. In 1992, it formed a coalition with the Farmer’s Organization party and worked toward common goals of initiating reasonable work hours and reclaiming the land among others. There were also several associations that were formed to basically tackle the needs of women. Unfortunately, not all women benefited; some women were discriminated and exempted from the association. In particular, African American women were considered incapable of moving to the middle class, thus exempted from the helping associations. In response to this, the latter formed the African American church and a constituent association to cater for their rights as well.

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Services provided to the poor immigrant newcomers to America’s urban centers by the settlement houses and unions

The high rate of poverty, especially among immigrants, led to formation of settlement house movements, which provided social and educational services. The first settlement house movement was started in Britain in 1884 by the middle-class London reformers. This movement inspired the American social reformers who also founded a settlement house in the 1880s. This settlement was started to sort the industrial poverty which was growing rapidly. The first U.S. settlement house was founded in the New York City in 1886 by Stanton Colt. It was referred to as Neighborhood Guild. This settlement house was followed by Hull-House in Chicago, founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Starr in 1889. By the onset of the 1990s, there were more than 400 settlement houses in the U.S., evenly distributed in Chicago, Boston, and the New York City.

The major function of the settlement houses was to assimilate and transmit immigrants into labor force by teaching them values of the middle-class Americans. Hull-Houses also provided social services to reduce the effects of poverty which was alarming in the U.S. Some of the services offered were public kitchens and public baths. The settlements also provided shelter for the homeless. Most of the settlement houses were not denominational. However, many religious denominations were involved in the establishment of the settlements. The examples of dominions which were actively involved were the Roman Catholic Church and the Women’s Home Missionary Society, which had a link to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In response to the immigration of Blacks to the northern industrial centers, churches of African Americans also founded settlement houses to deliver social services to the new Black immigrants. The African American churches were also responding to racism which affected the settlement houses.

How African Americans, particularly women, responded to their exclusion from associations established to help others in need

There was a racial discrimination within associations. White Americans were given prompt services compared to African Americans. The former were assumed to be capable of moving into the middle class more easily, while the latter were considered incapable. In response, women leaders such as Marry Church and Ida B Well and led the rest of women in contributing to the progress of struggling for the rights. African American Women also added effort to end their enfranchisement.

Steps taken by Florence Kelley to ban child labor, her extent of success

Child labor activities such as indentured servitude and child slavery have existed throughout the American history. Children were preferred workers at firms and in industries in urban centers due to their low wage demand. In response to this inhumanity, Florence Kelley fought to illegalize the employment of children under the age of 14. Kelley also struggled to limit the work hours of children under the age of 16. She preferred giving children education to employment.

Firmly, Kelley said that children should be molded to be intelligent members of the society, a recommendation which made her fast become a woman to be appointed into a state-wide office. She was appointed as a Chief Factory Inspector in 1993 by the Governor Peter Altgeld. She went ahead to further her studies on federal patterns of distribution of education funds. She researched the concepts which made her notice inequality in distribution of money in the area of education. As a response, Kelley created “The Sterling Discrimination Bill” which she considered as a tool of reducing child labor that majorly affected the Black children. Indirectly, the bill would lead to equalization of schools for Blacks and Whites. However, Kelley was opposed by W.E.B. DuBois.

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Power and Politics:  Women in the Progressive Era, 1900-1920- Through Women’s Eyes Chapter 8 Focus Questions

Women’s activism and workforce participation during the Progressive Era:

Ways in which Progressive Era women tried to change their lives and the lives of others, and how class, race, ethnicity influenced the views and activism of women in the Progressive Era

The Progressive Era of the 1890s to1920 involved a nationwide social activism in the U.S. The main goal of the progressive movements during this era was to fight corruption in the government. Primarily, the movements argued that elimination of corruption would improve the political machine. Evidently, the middle-class women organized meetings on behalf of social reformers. They fought for suffrage, education, and public health, which they thought would improve their lives upon granting. During the era, women were deeply divided by religion, class, ethnicity, and race. However, they did not identify with one another, thus collectively forming coalitions and solidarity which waxed and waned.   

Conflict and coalition among Progressive women activists

Ironically, some women among the Progressive women activists did not like the suffrage As a result; they formed anti-suffrage groups which were not welcomed by the other group of women who fought tirelessly for the suffrage rights. Eventually, this contradiction led to conflicts. However, middle class women formed a coalition with the social reforms, in which the former played an organizational role.


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Comparison between the twentieth-century woman suffrage movement and the nineteenth-century woman suffrage movement

 The twentieth-century women suffrage movement was more effective compared to its counterpart of the nineteenth century. The success of the former was highly induced by solidarity of women which was weak in the latter. Unlike the suffrage of the 19th century, the movement of the 20th century also enjoyed the support of middle-class women who organizers the movement’s activities.

Arguments and tactics of the twentieth-century woman suffrage movement

Twentieth century women movement use two tactics in their suffrage activities. Women who worked for abolition and women’s rights prior to civil formed the ERA association to regain their work after the end of the conflict. However, the ERA association could not come up with a common strategy to fight for the suffrage. This led to division of the association into two, in which one argued that women’s suffrage require amendment of the constitution while the opposing group argued that full suffrage require formulation of new laws.

Women’s Trade Union League; the reasons for its parallel operations to the larger unions led by men

The Woman’s Trade Union League (WTUL) was the organization of all working and well-off women in the United States. It was formed by women in 1903 to operate separately from large unions organized by men in order to eliminate sweatshop conditions and encourage women to start their labor unions.

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The meaning of the phrase “The Rising of the Women”

“The rising of women” is a phrase that can be traced back to the early 20th century, to the success of the middle and working-class women in America who worked together to improve the social and economic situation of female employees.


The difference between maternalism and the larger Progressive movement

Maternalism describes the acts that were experienced in the United States in which the law was used to provide assistance to women who had young children. These forms did not provide financial support to men in the households. While most progressive movements were aimed at addressing all types of women and girls, especially through suffrage and education, maternalism was strictly in aid of women with young children, reducing their work hours.

The Progressive white women’s treatment to the African Americans

Response of the African American women, their reasons for joining the National Association Coloured Women (NACW), the goals of NACW and how its members attempted to achieve the goals

The Progressive Era was associated with political problems in America. For example, African American women were not allowed to attend the same schools with the White American women. They were also not allowed to use better water fountains which were strictly meant for the White American women. In reaction to these discriminative acts, African American women joined the National Associations of the Colored Women (NACW) to eradicate social and political discriminations. The goal of NACW was to attain equality among women, in which it mobilized its members towards its achievement.

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Difference that the passage of women’s suffrage in New York make to the national woman’s suffrage movement

After a long fighting and advocating through various women associations, women obtained victory in the Senate in 1920. The New York passage imposed a great impact on women. Through their leader, the National Women Party announced that they would contest in the next presidential elections.

Major achievements of women reformers during the Progressive Era

Women achieved many reforms during the progressive Era. A major achievement was the passage of the 19th century which enfranchised women. Thereafter, women started redefining the roles of the federal government. As a difference brought by the Ney York passage, women started working hard to expand the scope of the government. They oversaw education issues, sanitation, and wages, working conditions, health and social welfares.

Comparison between the feminists of the early twentieth century and the older generations of women reformers in the mid- to late-nineteenth century

The feminist movements in the U.S. were social and political movements that were aimed at establishing women equality. In the 20th century, the feminist movements exerted great effects on the American society compared to the previous women reformation. Lives of many women were transformed, making it differ from the old reformers. However, the two feminists sought equality for women. Although the 19th and 20th centuries were directed toward the same goal, the organizing strategies and operations of the two suffragist movements were different. Unlike the 19th century suffrage when meetings were organized by all woman leaders, the 20th century suffrage meetings were specifically organized by middle-class working women.

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Change and Continuity: Women in Prosperity, Depression, and War, 1920-1945 – Through Women’s Eyes Chapter 9 Focus Questions

Characteristics that described, and the factors that led to the rise of the “New Woman”;

“The new women” was a feminist idea that was evident in the 20th century; it imposed a greater impact on feminism. Women who were characterized as the “new women” were highly influential and exhibited independent spirit. They not only acted on their own as independent women but also had affluence and sensitivity and were capable of pushing the limits of the male-dominated society. A factor that led to the rise of the “new woman” was New Religious Movements.

Motives and backgrounds of the 1920s Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) advocates and opponents

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was an amendment that was proposed in the U.S. to guarantee equal rights to women. It was induced by the1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed all women in the United States the right to vote which Alice Paul, who was a suffrage leader, argued against saying that the suffrage right only was not enough to end sex discrimination.

The long-term effects of the 1920s ERA debate

The long-term effects of ERA debate were the ratification and adoption of constitutions between 1970 and 1980 by eleven states of the country that provided that everybody was granted equal rights under the law irrespective of sex.

The trends in women’s workforce participation that began at end of the Civil War and continued through WWII

Trends in women’s workforce participation that began at the end of the Civil War and continued through WWII included attending to two full-time jobs with work hours ranging from 48 to 60 hours per week. Also, women managed homes, took away hot meals, managed central kitchens, and communal laundries.

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How race, ethnicity, and gender affected women’s experiences during the Great Depression and World War II

During the Great Depression and World War II, families exhibited distinct styles of marital and relationships depending on various classes, race and ethnic differences. In response, families reacted to the tresses in distinct manners.


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