Women of the Future
Ever since the conception of America way back in 1607, the average woman has held a position inferior to that of men. However, as time went on, so did the social hierarchy, and thus, by the 1900s and a wave of Progressivism made its bold march into America, so did the movement for women’s rights. Economic developments, political advancements, and general assumptions about the nature of women were all factors in the skyrocketing of women’s freedom around the turn of the 20th century.
By 1925, most women had received a longer leash in all aspects of life. Perhaps most liberating was women’s economic independence, as exposed in Document A. Susan B. Anthony, a leading women’s rights advocate said, “She who can make for herself a place of distinction in any line of work receives commendation instead of condemnation.” She goes on to say that, “The close of this 19th century finds every trade, vocation and profession open to women, and every opportunity at their command for preparing themselves to follow these occupations.” Anthony herself took several vital steps in the boosting of feminism, including the leading of the National Women Suffrage Association, which would eventually become the National American Women Suffrage Association after merging with fellow suffragist Lucy Stone’s American Women Suffrage Association in 1890.
As the 20th century rolled around, it became increasingly clear that women were gaining a firm political foothold. The 19th Amendment, ratified on August 18th, 1920 granted American women the right to vote—also known as women suffrage. Jane Addams justified this surge forward in women’s rights with a statement shown in Document C. “…If woman would fulfill her traditional responsibility to her own children; if she would educate and protect from danger factory children who must find recreation on the street; if she would bring the cultural forces to bear upon our materialistic civilization; and if she would do it all with the...