Woman suffrage and Virginia politics, 1909-1920

Shelton, Charlotte Jean, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Younger, Edward E., Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
Willis, Stanley, History, University of Virginia's College at Wise

Since the late nineteenth century, Virginian politics have been dominated most of the time by a highly organized and generally tightly controlled group of Democratic politicians. This group or organization, as it is called in general has not been motivated by ideological or financial considerations, but has been mainly interested in retaining power. Its members have looked upon government and politics with a rather patrician sense of duty and have seen themselves as trustees of the people's wishes and welfare. The organization has been able to remain in power for nearly eighty years because it has responded to the needs and desires of its constituency so capably during that time. Popular issues have usually been absorbed into the organization’s program. The personal predilections of individual politicians are customarily subordinated to the expressed will of the people.
In the second decade of this century, the enfranchisement of women became a major national political issue. The purpose of this essay is to examine and evaluate the role of the woman suffrage movement in Virginia politics. The first part of this study describes the nature and leadership of this movement. Part II is a detailed account of the efforts of the leaders to get the support of the state's politicians and through them, to obtain the right to vote.

MA (Master of Arts)
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