The woman suffrage movement in Virginia: its nature, rationale, and tactics

Clare, Carol Jean,, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Younger, Edward, University of Virginia
Bonly, F.N., University of Virginia

In this Master's essay, the author has attempted to develop an Interpretation of the woman suffrage movement In Virginia, 1909-1920. Woman suffrage was never more than a minor issue in Virginia politics. It has exerted very little Influence on the state's subsequent history. Yet it has historical significance. Almost alone, the advocates of woman suffrage, of necessity, opposed the conservative, traditionalist forces so influential in Virginia progressivism. Although they remained strongly conventional in thought and behavior, and thoroughly respectable, yet the women of the Equal Suffrage League campaigned for a radical departure in Southern life and politics. The result was an unusual blend of conservative and revolutionary elements. The motivation of the suffrage workers is unclear. Personal experience of the limitations imposed on Southern women was probably one factor. The social concern aroused by national progressivism was another. Much further study of this aspect of Virginia's intellectual history will be required before this important question is answered.

The purpose of this essay has not been primarily to present an exhaustive narrative of the Virginia suffrage movement. This has been quite capably done by Anne Stites Hamilton in her thesis, ├ČThe Inconceivable Revolution in Virginia.├« Rather, the author has attempted to analyze and interpret the significance of the suffrage movement by emphasizing its nature, rational, tactics, and Impact. Much work remains to be done before a complete understanding of the woman's movement in Virginia is reached. If indeed it was a dramatic revolt against woman's traditional role, our understanding of Virginia and Southern social history may be greatly broadened.

MA (Master of Arts)
Women -- Suffrage -- Virginia

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:34:15.

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