Woman suffrage and Emmeline Goulden - Referat
Woman’s Suffrage in the United States
The Woman Suffrage movement started in 1848. Early woman right leaders wanted to change the constitution. But the Civil War left his marks everywhere in America, suddenly other problems became more important.
The first serious foundation, NWSA, standing for National Woman Suffrage Association, was founded in 1869 and Elizabeth Cady Stanton became its president. A new constitution, or at least a change, was believed to be the best way granting woman their right for suffrage. A second organisation called AWSA, American Woman Suffrage Association, tried to change the law in single states, believing that the constitution would be changed if a majority of states had woman voting. The same year, 1869, Wyoming made first progress in women suffrage. Woman suffrage was set equal to the laws according to male citizens. Utah followed a year later. Probably influenced by this, the NWSA and AWSA decided to merge. From 1900 on things went like an avalanche, Colorado, Utah and Idaho granted woman full suffrage rights. 1912 was the year of Kansas, Arizona and Oregon; Montana and Nevada changed their laws in 1914.
In the same year New Zealand was the first country to give full woman suffrage.
After 1914 woman suffrage slid a little into background, but large parades and marches brought the topic back to mind. On January 12,1915 the first bill was wrote to the House of Representatives, demanding a change of the constitution. Unfortunately the house voted against a change, throwing the woman suffrage project quite a few years back.
But in 1916 the first woman was elected into the House of Representatives, Jeanette Rankin. She was the first woman in history to be part of the congress.
In 1917 a woman’s party decided to make an offensive step, they blocked the White House. Ninety-six suffragists were arrested along with their leader, Alice Paul. They tried to go on hunger strike to protest, but were force-fed after a while. By now women in Rhode Island, North Dakota, Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas, New York an Ohio were also allowed to vote.
In 1919 the following states had made female suffrage already a law:
· Austria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Scotland, Azerbaijan Republic, Belgium, British East Africa, Holland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Rhodesia, Sweden and Wales
There now was a surely considerable majority among politicians of both parties to change the constitution. So the president decided to call in a special session of congress, introducing a new vote. On May 21, 1919, it passed through, 42 votes more than necessary were achieved. Following the American guidelines the request was passed on to the Senate on June 4 and after long discussions the vote ended with 56/25 for a change of the constitution. What still remained was, that the single American states ratified the action of the congress. This was no trouble, and one after another state changed laws.
The presidential election in 1920 was the first occasion where woman all over America were allowed to make use of their new rights ...
About a woman fighting for her rights
Emmeline Pankhurst, mostly active in the early 20th century, is today known as an important woman’s suffrage fighter. She was the daughter of Robert Goulden and Sophia Crane, who gave her birth in 1858 in Manchester. Her father was a successful businessman with radical political beliefs. Goulden took part in the campaigns against slavery and the Corn Laws. Emmeline's mother was a passionate feminist and started taking her daughter to women's suffrage meetings in the early 1870s.
Robert and Sophia Goulden had conventional ideas about education and after a short while at a school in Manchester, Emmeline was sent to finish school in Paris at the age of fifteen.
Born as Emmeline Goulden, she married Richard Pankhurst, a lawyer. He was a friend of John Stuart Mill (author of The Subjection of Women). Richard Pankhurst was the author of the first British woman suffrage bill and of the Married Women's Property Acts of 1870 and 1882. In 1895 Emmeline became a Poor Law Guardian. This involved regular visits to the local workhouse and she was deeply shocked by the misery and suffering of the inmates. She became particularly concerned about the way women were treated and it reinforced her belief that women's suffrage was the only way these problems would be solved.
Unfortunatelly Richard died because of an illness called “preforated ulcer” in 1898.
In 1889, Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women's Franchise League together with her daughters. This organization won the vote for women in elections for local offices in 1894. Emmeline held several local offices.
She continued her involvement in politics but grew gradually disillusioned with the existing women's political organizations and in 1903 she founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). At first Emmeline intended that the main aim of the organisation was to recruit working class women into the struggle for the vote.
By 1905 the media had lost interest in the struggle for women's rights. Newspapers rarely reported meetings and usually refused to publish articles and letters written by supporters of women's suffrage. In 1905 the WSPU decided to use different methods to obtain the publicity they thought would be needed in order to obtain the vote.
Emmeline Pankhurst ran the WSPU from its office in London beginning in 1906. Increasingly militant in working against suffrage opponents and for suffrage, she was jailed and went on a hunger strike, resulting in her release and re-arrest twelve times under a "temporary discharge for ill-health" provision.
With her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, Emmeline Pankhurst became active in the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).
In 1914 she published her autobiography My Own Story.
During World War I, Pankhurst and the WPU ceased their militant campaign, and in exchange the British government released suffragettes from jail. Though keeping the suffrage issue in the background at home, Emmeline Pankhurst spoke on woman suffrage on a speaking tour of the United States during the war.
In 1917, Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women's Party, supporting the war and endorsing a whole platform of equal rights for women, including equal pay for equal work, equal parental rights, and public maternity benefits.
With the help of Pankhurst, woman suffrage was finally passed in 1928, giving women the same voting rights as men in Britain.
She died just a few weeks later.
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