3 4 week 3 short responses

The Constitution, as originally written and ratified, had nothing to say about women’s rights—indeed, it had nothing to say about women at all.

A monument to three pioneers of the woman suffrage movement—Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott—in the U.S. Capitol. (Click button for citation)

The Constitution’s original language was strictly gender-neutral, referring repeatedly to “persons” or “citizens,” rather than to “men” or “women.” Gender distinctions did not enter the Constitution until 1868, with the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, which addressed the voting rights of all “male…citizens.”

In this theme, we will look at two crucial events in the long campaign to expand the rights of American women. The woman suffrage movement, which fought to extend the right to vote to all American women, ended successfully in 1920 with ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. But the effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have guaranteed women all the same legal rights as men, ended in defeat in 1982, when the amendment fell three states shy of the 38 needed for ratification.

We will use these two case studies to examine the historical concept of

Members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, before a meeting with President Woodrow Wilson. Click on this link to access more photos. (Click button for citation)

The long campaign to expand the rights of American women has gone on for almost two centuries, and it has seen both victories and defeats. In Theme: Communicating Historical Ideas, we will focus on two major goals of the women’s rights movement. The Nineteenth Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote, was ratified, after decades of effort, in 1920. But the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have ensured women “equality of rights under the law,” was defeated after a contentious national debate that came to a close in 1982.

The women’s rights movement began in earnest in July 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention, a two-day gathering in upstate New York that drew 300 participants “to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman.” Its principal organizers, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, had met eight years earlier at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London—at which the women delegates, including Mott, were barred from speaking and were required to sit in a segregated area. (Wellman, 2004)

The following chart summarizes some of the major historical factors that led to the birth of the women’s movement at the Seneca Falls Convention:

The Seneca Falls Convention was the product of a wide range of historical factors:

  • The rise of the abolition movement, many of whose leaders strongly encouraged the participation of women;
  • The religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening, which inspired many women to become active in social causes;
  • The influence of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, some of whose more progressive branches advocated an expanded role for women in religious affairs; and
  • The political movement in support of Married Women’s Property Acts, state laws that accorded married women some limited economic rights. (Wellman, 2004; Library of Congress, 2013)

The Seneca Falls Convention produced the famous “Declaration of Sentiments,” based on the Declaration of Independence, which included the simple but radical assertion: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” The Declaration was followed by a series of 13 Resolutions calling for legal and social equality for women, including the assertion that “it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” (This link will take you to the full text of the Declaration of Sentiments.)

In its early years, the women’s movement focused on economic and social issues, including the lack of educational opportunities for girls and women. The advent of the Civil War brought an almost exclusive focus on the abolition of slavery, but while the end of the war meant an end to slavery, it also created profound disappointment for many women’s-rights advocates. The failure of Congress to include women in the guarantees of legal and voting rights, which were extended to freed slaves in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, caused a schism in the women’s movement.

While leaders of the movement agreed on the goal of woman suffrage—securing for women the right to vote—they disagreed strongly over the best way to achieve that goal. In 1869, Stanton and Susan B. Anthony created the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), which focused on changing federal law; the NWSA opposed the Fifteenth Amendment because it excluded women. That same year, Lucy Stone, a prominent lobbyist for women’s rights, helped form the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which supported the Fifteenth Amendment and focused its efforts at the state level. (U.S. House of Representatives, 2016)

While these two groups would eventually unite, more than 50 years would pass before woman suffrage would be enshrined in the Constitution by the Nineteenth Amendment. And, with the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, the larger goal envisioned by those who attended the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848—full legal equality for all American women—has yet to be realized.

Historical Causality

One purpose of history is to explain the past—and the concept of woman suffrage, which we will look at in more detail in Theme: Communicating Historical Ideas, Learning Block 3-4.

American women won the right to vote when, after more than 70 years of campaigning for suffrage, they saw the Nineteenth Amendment ratified in 1920—but why was this Amendment finally approved? To put it another way, what factors caused the women’s suffrage movement to succeed, after so many decades of frustration and failure?

There are a lot of factors that led to the success of the women’s suffrage movement: strong leadership of women such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Alice Paul; changing attitudes toward the role of women in society and in the workplace; the role of women in supporting the war effort during World War I and the war’s impact on the public’s conception of “democracy”; the extension of voting rights to freed African Americans, through the Fifteenth Amendment; political decisions by leaders such as President Woodrow Wilson; and the political momentum from successful local campaigns to win woman suffrage in more than a dozen states before 1920.

All of these causes contributed to the passage and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Which was most important? As with so much else in the study of history, there’s no definitive answer to that question; different historians may emphasize different causes, depending on which historical lens each applies and how each interprets the historical evidence. (Brien, 2013) As you evaluate different secondary sources, you will see how these differences in emphasis can lead to different conclusions about the relative importance of historical events.

Types of Causes

In looking for the causes of a historical event, a primary consideration is chronology—that is, the order in which key events took place. (Waring, 2010) For one event to have caused another event, it must have taken place before the second event. But chronology does not tell us the whole story: just because one event happened before another does not necessarily mean that it caused the second event.

In a famous example often cited by logicians, the fact that a rooster crowed before sunrise does not mean that the rooster caused the sun to rise. This is an example of what logicians and historians call the proximate cause is an event that immediately precedes, or is directly responsible for causing, some other event. The proximate cause of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment was the vote by the Tennessee House of Representatives to approve the amendment on August 18, 1920.

An ultimate cause (also known as a distal cause) is an event that, when viewed at a higher level, may be considered to be the real reason an event occurred. One of the ultimate causes of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment was the shift in American public attitudes toward the role of women in society.

At the most simplistic level, a proximate cause tells us how an event happened; an ultimate cause is more likely to tell us why it happened. It’s important to remember that most historical events have multiple proximate and ultimate causes. (Palazzo, 2007)

In considering the relative importance of different causes, historians often divide them into necessary causes and contributory causes. (Waring, 2010) A necessary cause is an event or trend that is essential to causing some other event; without the necessary cause, the second event could not take place. Approval by 36 state legislatures was a necessary cause for ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

By contrast, secondary sources for relevancy to your essay, as well as their accuracy and objectivity. These skills will be essential in this course as well as while you pursue your future studies at SNHU.

Learning Objectives

Objectives Icon

In this learning block, you will:

  • Learn how to assess secondary sources for accuracy, relevancy, intent, and authoritativeness using the A.R.I.A. criteria
  • Understand how to critically examine historical information on websites
  • Become familiar with the kinds of secondary sources that are appropriate for use in your historical analysis essay
  • Practice evaluating secondary sources and websites

Evaluating Secondary Sources

As you search through the databases at the Shapiro Library conducting research for your historical analysis essay, you are probably finding that there are a lot of sources that cover your chosen historical topic. You are expected to use scholarly sources in this course. It is important to examine all of your sources with a critical eye in order to determine their validity.

When evaluating secondary sources, you should keep the following things in mind. You can remember these criteria with the acronym A.R.I.A., which stands for accuracy, relevancy, intent, and authoritativeness.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about evaluating sources. The information below is adapted and condensed from this guide and this guide from Shapiro Library. This course uses a modified version of the popular C.R.A.A.P.O. (Currency, Relevancy, Accuracy, Authoritativeness, Purpose, & Objective) evaluation criteria tailored specifically to evaluating secondary sources in the field of history.

Select a list item tab, press enter, then search down for text. When you hear End of tab content, go back to the next list item to access the next list item tab.

ACCURACY

Correct information is necessary in any scholarly source.

Ask these questions:

  • Has the source been peer-reviewed?
  • Has the author supplied a list of references, and does that list include scholarly sources?
  • Is the source logical, organized, professional in appearance, and free of spelling and grammatical errors?

Look for: the author’s reference list, information about the publisher or the journal, and the full text of the source for errors and organization

Avoid: sources that do not have a reference list, sources with grammatical errors, and sources that have not gone through an editorial process or peer review

End of tab content.

Click here link to download a copy of the A.R.I.A. Test Worksheet. You can use this when evaluating the secondary sources you want to use for your historical event analysis essay. Make sure you fill out the worksheet in its entirety—otherwise the test will not be accurate. If the total for the source is 35+ points, it’s a good indication that it is credible. (Remember, though, the more points the better, and the only way for the A.R.I.A. test to work is to be as honest as possible when evaluating each source). If the source scores less than 35 points, look for another source.

Evaluating Websites

There is plenty of information on the Internet, but you probably already know that it isn’t always correct. Evaluating web resources, such as websites and blogs, requires attention to certain detail that you might not need to think about when looking at scholarly journals in the Shapiro Library database.

In addition to using the A.R.I.A. criteria explained on page 1 of this learning block, there are certain aspects of websites that you need to examine. Anyone can post anything online, which is why it is necessary to be a critical consumer of information you find online.

First, ask yourself: How did you find this website? Did a reliable source recommend or cite it? Was it linked from a reputable website? Did you find it through a search engine?

Click on the tabs to learn more about other factors specific to websites that you need to pay attention to. The information below is adapted and condensed from this guide from Shapiro Library.

Domain

What kind of website is it? Different websites require different levels of evaluation.


Domain

Used by

Reliability

Example
.com Commercial, business, media outlets, or anything else Low reliability; needs thorough evaluation History Channel: http://www.history.com
.org Organizations or non-profits; professional and medical organizations usually use this domain Low reliability; needs thorough evaluation American Historical Association: http://www.historians.org
.edu Educational institutions; information about the institution or content created by professionals at the institution Medium reliability; requires some evaluation, because some institutions allow non-experts to develop content for their websites Shapiro Library Research Guides: http://libguides.snhu.edu/
.gov Government agency or department High reliability, but as with anything on the Internet, it might require some evaluation. The information on these domains is regulated. Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov
Last updated date

This information shows you how recent the information is. Most high quality websites, especially from government agencies, will include this date. You can usually find an update date or publication date at the bottom of the webpage or below the title of the article.

Functionality & design

There’s a lot to be said for a well-organized, professional-looking website. Although appearances are not everything, if the website is easy to navigate and includes a user-friendly menu, it is a good indication that the organization has put thought into the design and information presented. Check the website for grammatical and spelling errors, broken links, and pop-ups and advertisements. These might be signs that the website’s information requires more scrutiny.

Exercise: Examining Scholarly Sources

AS YOU RESEARCH SOURCES FOR YOUR HISTORICAL EVENT ANALYSIS, YOU WILL ENCOUNTER MANY SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ARTICLES. THESE MIGHT FEEL DAUNTING AT FIRST. IF YOU BREAK THEM DOWN BY INITIALLY EVALUATING THEM USING THE A.R.I.A. CRITERIA, THEY WILL BECOME MORE APPROACHABLE. IN THIS EXERCISE, YOU WILL EXAMINE A SAMPLE JOURNAL ARTICLE ABOUT THE WOMAN SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT AND ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT IT.

Readings Icon

THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE IS EXCERPTED FROM A SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ARTICLE TITLED “THE LIMITS OF STATE SUFFRAGE FOR CALIFORNIA WOMEN CANDIDATES IN THE PROGRESSIVE ERA”. THIS READING IS PROVIDED BY THE SHAPIRO LIBRARY. CLICK ON THE LINK TO VIEW THE FULL TEXT OF THE ARTICLE. YOU WILL HAVE TO LOG INTO SHAPIRO LIBRARY WITH YOUR SNHU CREDENTIALS TO ACCESS THIS ARTICLE.

EXAMINE INFORMATION FROM THE ARTICLE BELOW. YOU WILL BE ASKED QUESTIONS BASED ON YOUR EVALUATION.

THE LIMITS OF STATE SUFFRAGE FOR CALIFORNIA WOMEN CANDIDATES IN THE PROGRESSIVE ERA

AUTHOR: LINDA VAN INGEN
SOURCE: PACIFIC HISTORICAL REVIEW. FEBRUARY 2004, VOL. 73 NO. 1, PP. 21-48

THE AUTHOR IS A PROFESSOR OF WOMEN’S STUDIES, 20TH CENTURY UNITED STATES, RACE AND GENDER, AND HISTORICAL METHODS IN THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, KEARNEY.

SUBJECT TERMS:
HISTORY
WOMEN POLITICIANS

ABSTRACT

CALIFORNIA WOMEN GAINED THE RIGHT TO RUN FOR THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND CONGRESS WHEN THEY WON THE VOTE IN 1911. COMING NINE YEARS BEFORE THE NINETEENTH AMENDMENT ENFRANCHISED WOMEN NATIONALLY IN 1920, THIS ERA OF STATE ENFRANCHISEMENT APPEARED RIPE FOR WOMEN’S ELECTORAL SUCCESS. THE ONGOING NATIONAL SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT, THE CALIFORNIA PROGRESSIVE PARTY, AND THE EXTENSIVE NETWORK OF CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S CLUBS COULD ALL HAVE WORKED TO ADVANCE WOMEN’S CANDIDACIES. INSTEAD, THESE FACTORS CREATED CONDITIONS THAT UNDERMINED WOMEN’S POLITICAL AMBITIONS. NOT UNTIL 1918, WHEN PASSAGE OF A NATIONAL SUFFRAGE AMENDMENT SEEMED IMMINENT AND THE POWER OF THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY IN CALIFORNIA FADED, DID WOMEN FIND SUCCESS AS CANDIDATES. THEIR DELAYED VICTORIES REVEAL THE LIMITS OF STATE ENFRANCHISEMENT FOR WOMEN’S POLITICAL POWER.

WHEN WOMEN WON THE VOTE IN CALIFORNIA IN 1911, THEY ALSO WON THE RIGHT TO RUN FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE ON THE STATE AND NATIONAL LEVELS. GRANTED THE RIGHTS OF FULL CITIZENSHIP LONG BEFORE THE NATIONAL SUFFRAGE AMENDMENT PASSED IN 1920, CALIFORNIA WOMEN BEGAN TO RUN FOR OFFICE AT THEIR FIRST OPPORTUNITY IN 1912, WHEN TEN WOMEN RAN FOR THEIR PARTY’S NOMINATION IN THE PRIMARY ELECTIONS. MOST OF THESE CANDIDATES RAN AS THIRD-PARTY CONTENDERS ON EITHER THE SOCIALIST OR PROHIBITION TICKETS. ONLY ONE RAN AS A MAJOR-PARTY CANDIDATE: MARY ELLA RIDLE, OF SAN LUIS OBISPO, WHO RAN FOR THE STATE ASSEMBLY AS A DEMOCRAT. EXCEPTIONAL IN HER BID AS A MAJOR-PARTY CANDIDATE, RIDLE NEVERTHELESS SHARED THE EXPERIENCE OF FAILURE WITH THE OTHER WOMEN. INDEED, NO CALIFORNIA WOMAN WON OFFICE UNTIL 1918, SEVEN YEARS AFTER THE STATE ENFRANCHISED WOMEN. CLEARLY, WOMEN FACED OBSTACLES AS CANDIDATES. AS RIDLE NOTED AT THE TIME, “THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A STEP TAKEN IN HISTORY THAT HAS NOT RECEIVED ITS SHARE OF DERISION. IT IS THE USUAL FATE OF INNOVATIONS OF ANY KIND. HOWEVER, SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE A START. IN ACCEPTING THIS CANDIDACY I FEEL THAT I AM FILLING THAT WANT.” 1 HER BOLD EFFORTS, HOWEVER, HAD LITTLE IMPACT. AS THIS ARTICLE ARGUES, POSSESSING THE RIGHTS OF FULL SUFFRAGE BEFORE RATIFICATION OF THE NINETEENTH AMENDMENT ACTUALLY IMPEDED CALIFORNIA WOMEN’S OPPORTUNITIES FOR ELECTORAL OFFICE. WOMEN LIKE RIDLE HAD LITTLE CHANCE OF WINNING OFFICE ON THE STATE AND NATIONAL LEVELS.

AT FIRST GLANCE, THIS ERA OF ENFRANCHISEMENT FOR WOMEN BEFORE 1920 APPEARED RIPE FOR POLITICAL SUCCESS. THE NATIONAL SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT WAS CONSTANTLY REVISITING ITS CAUSE AS POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGED; IT COULD HAVE WELCOMED THE ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN AS CANDIDATES. THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY, NEEDING WOMEN AS POLITICAL WORKERS, SAW ITSELF AS INCLUSIONARY AND CHAMPIONED WOMEN. WITH CALIFORNIA PLAYING A CRITICAL ROLE IN ITS PLANS TO BECOME A PERMANENT PARTY, IT COULD HAVE SUPPORTED PROGRESSIVE WOMEN CANDIDATES. CLUBWOMEN UNDERSTOOD THE PROCESS OF PUBLIC POLICYMAKING AND THE VALUE OF THEIR LEADERSHIP. THEY COULD HAVE EXTENDED THEIR INTERESTS TO WOMEN’S C

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