Women Reformers and the Suffragettes

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What were some of the strategies used by the suffragettes to promote their cause?

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Women advocating for the vote in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States and England (suffragists) found themselves caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Since they couldn't vote, the politicians who had the power to grant them the vote didn't need them and had no reason to accommodate them. Therefore, the women had to publicize their cause and build sympathy for their movement in ways that would pressure their representatives to take them seriously. They did this through marches and civil disobedience, such as going to voting sites and getting arrested for trying to vote. On the more extreme edge, they damaged property to try to get attention, though they tried to avoid harming people.

Another tactic they used was appeal to reason. In 1900, for example, suffragist Alice Stone Blackwell published a list of sixteen rationales for why women should get the vote in the United States. Some of them might seem surprising to us today. One for...

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