Women's Suffrage Movement in the Pacific Northwest between 1848-1920

In the city that I come from, I have witnessed a big change since the civil rights movements back in the 1960’s. In New Orleans, Louisiana, there is a huge part of black population that collectively holds the same vision Martin Luther King had. As centuries have come to pass, it is evident that race has come to mean more than the skin tone like in California where homosexual is now taken to be a race. Nevertheless, the reason that has led to this is because a group of people united with the common aim to fight for the human rights that they thought should not be taken away from them. Martin Luther King Jr. led the way to establishing Civil Rights Movement and also give confidence to others to go after him in order to aid in amending the laws of the country. This is similar to the women’s suffrage movement which occurred during the 19th and 20th century, where a certain group of people with similar interests also came together and became one group to demand for their rights toand equal opportunities.

According to the Oregon encyclopedia, the years from 1870 to 1900 were the first phase of the women’s suffrage; it involved early action, grouping together, and efforts to pass woman suffrage legislation. The second phase lasted from 1900 to 1912 where there cropped up a second generation of suffragists who created credible coalitions that were using modern advertising techniques to get to the consumers. During the third phase (from 1912 to 1920), national suffrage organizations were established; it also involved politics leading to the approval of the 19th Amendment.

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In the History Link encyclopedia, the article Woman Suffrage Crusade, 1848-1920 claims that women got the right to vote in 1883, but they consequently lost it in 1888 when Nevada Bloomer who did not support suffrage scammed for her ballot to be rejected and later sued the judges causing the state to rule the suffrage bill void. They, however, continued to fight for this right until 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the United States’ Constitution was ratified. Another article in the History Link encyclopedia, Duniway Abigail Scott (1834-1915), says that Abigail was a woman who embarked on a campaign in 1971 to ensure that she brought women together to fight for their right to vote. She was able to make the men in the state of Oregon vote for the passage of a bill that would allow women to vote. Although she helped other states pass these bills earlier, she faced much resistance in her homeland in Oregon.

The Oregon Historical Society was founded 1898 and is located on 1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland. A photo called Abigail_2 shows Abigail Scott Duniway together with Governor Oswald West and Mrs. Viola M. Coe as she signs Oregon's Equal Suffrage Proclamation. This was on November 30, 1912. They co-signed the proclamation with Governor Oswald. There is also a poster by the name Handbill, "Women pay taxes". The poster says that women also pay taxes, and they are also obedient to the law. They should thus be treated equally to men, and they should be given the right to vote.

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The book “How the vote was won: Woman Suffrage in the Western United States” (2004) by Rebecca J. Mead carefully analyzes the suffrage fights in the West by firmly placing the region as being responsible for the national woman suffrage movement. It also gives a compelling argument that the ability of the western women to focus on the discrimination to vote gave them the correct forum to gain their right to vote. The author has also made sure that she discusses the milestones and failures that the women came across in the course of their campaign. Ruth Barnes Moynihan in her book “Rebel for Rights: Abigail Scott Duniway” (1983), tells how Abigail’s family moved from Kentucky to Oregon. Abigail's experiences both as a child and an adult, including an unsatisfactory early marriage in which she experienced some complicated pregnancies, were the ones that proved to her that women ought to have the right to  sovereignty. Thus, the woman's suffrage was necessary although it was not enough to guarantee that women were treated fairly. The book “Woman Suffrage and Women's Rights” (1998) groups Ellen Carol Du Bois’ articles on women’s suffrage. This book traces the course of the women’s suffrage story against the environment of shifting political attitudes, gender and citizenship, and the consequential anxiety over such concerns as politics and class, abolitionism and slavery, religion and sexuality.

Linking the articles is Ellen Carol Du Bois’ certainty in the ongoing importance of development and political activities as an entity of historical inquest and a strength that helps to transform gender discrimination. The book “Woman Suffrage in America: An Eyewitness History” (2004) by Elizabeth Frost and Kathryn Cullen-DuPont narrates the great effort by the American women to get their right to vote all the way from 1800 to 1920. It has a number of excerpts from witnesses in the form of letters, memoirs, and other significant documents of that time. There are thirteen chapters each having a sequential narrative followed by a record of events and the above documents. The book “Women in Pacific Northwest History” (2004) by Karen J. Blair brings out the lives of women in the PNW from the darkness and offers a good model of what exactly happened. Women in the Pacific Northwest present many examples of women having active responsibilities as citizens helping to shape up the local events. The book has thirteen essays that put forward the wide range of women's practices that constitute the making of PNW history. The book “Winning the west for women: The life of suffragist Emma Smith De Voe” (2004) by the author Jennifer M. Ross-Nazzal gives an account of De Voe who due to her contributions to the fight for the right of women to vote helped to achieve this goal from the national constitutional amendment in 1920. It links the events and politics of the PNW states with the movement for women’s suffrage. It recognizes De Voe as a major contributor to the movement.

The article “Suffrage and Temperance: Differing Perspectives” (2013) by Sarah B. Hardy depicts that the members of the temperance movement contributed a great part to the 1912 crusade for woman suffrage in Oregon. The temperance workers helped to advocate for women’s suffrage through holding lectures and debates, going door-to-door to get pledges of support, distributing literature, and even launching advertising campaigns. The activism of the temperance workers marshaled the temperance-supporting male residents in the state to pass the women’s suffrage bill. These efforts by those in support of both suffrage and the temperance movement led to the achievement of the aims of women’s suffrage movement in Oregon. The primary sources used for this article are newspaper articles in the Oregonian and online Oregon newspaper (WOWMuseum).

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The article “Working for Suffrage: The Oregon Labor Community and the Achievement of Woman Suffrage in 1912” by Justin Karr tells of how women in the state of Oregon united together with the labor community in their search for the right to vote. The labor movement in Oregon was dedicated to helping women get their right to vote, express their political interests, and also to ensure that there was fairness. The laborers approved of woman suffrage by voting for the bill to pass. These were the men of Oregon who had refused to pass the bill five times before but they were now convinced through the use of the groups. The primary sources the author uses are also newspaper articles from the Oregonian newspaper and a testimony that was presented to the Senate in 1916.

Historians in an attempt to record events of the past try hard to bring out individuals who were instrumental in creating the history. Without using the individuals to refer to certain events, it is not possible to capture everything that happened in the past. This is because these individuals bear the greatest responsibility of the events that make up that history. The historians also seem to have deliberately used exact dates of when events occurred. This is to bring out the chronological order of how history was made and also to capture the milestones achieved and any hurdles experienced in the process making the history. Historians also make use of artifacts that have been stored in order to show or tell what used to happen. By making use of these artifacts from the past, they are sure not to leave out any issues or events that are associated with the field of study.

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