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Women, 1877-1929
1. “Separate Spheres”
2. Women and Social Reform
3. The Suffrage Campaign
4. After the Vote: Manners & Morals in the 1920s
Before the Vote
Separate Spheres
Women occupy the “domestic sphere”
morality, education,
family values
Men occupy the “public sphere”
competition, individualism
Women and Social Reform
Progressive causes:
Settlement Movement
Jane Addams, Hull House
Social Purity Movement
Women’s activism in social reform extends moral concerns of
domestic sphere to public sphere
The Suffrage Campaign, 1
Seneca Falls Declaration, 1848
Ratification of 19th Amendment, 1920
National American Woman Suffrage Association
Pre-1910 targets individual states
Only 4 western states grant full suffrage
Post-1910 seeks federal amendment
Alice Paul
more militant protest tactics
Wilson and women’s role in WW1
Suffrage Campaign, 2: Opposition
Vote is a challenge to “separate spheres” & gender norms
Many men & women believed women’s interests served by
household suffrage
Vote acknowledged women’s individuality & distinctive interests
Liquor interests
Elements in white South
fear that federal voting legislation could be extended to blacks
After the Vote
low political participation
dissension among feminists
Equal Rights Amendment, 1923
Alice Paul’s National Women’s Party
ERA & special protection
Muller vs Oregon, 1908
Manners & Moral in the 1920s, 1
The Flapper
Manners & Moral in the 1920s, 2
Women as consumers
Magazines & Movies
Dating, Marriage & Sexuality
college co-eds
State Street Swingers, “You Drink Too Much”
Continuity & Change in the Lives of American Women
1. Women were important in social reform movements prior to getting
the vote.
2. Vote was an important victory for women, yet most did not exercise
it and left politics to men.
3. Women entered the work-place, especially in WW1 & became
increasingly important consumers.
4. Flappers used “leisure” & “style” to register a limited revolt against
old gender codes & social values.
5. Most women in the 1920s were not Flappers.
6. Even the Flappers were usually looking toward marriage not a
career, & were largely indifferent to politics and social causes.