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[Detail] Suffragettes procession after release from prison.

Historical Analysis and Interpretation: Explaining Causes of the Suffrage Movement

Observations by foreign visitors often provide interesting insights into a culture. Anne Cobden-Sanderson, a British suffragist, visited the United States on a speaking tour in 1907. In January 1908, the magazine The Independent published an article giving her “American Impressions.” Read the article and answer the following questions:

  • What does Cobden-Sanderson say about the three classes of American women? What does she say caused each group’s behavior with respect to voting rights?
  • How, according to Cobden-Sanderson, would going to college affect young women?
  • Whom did the author refer to as “the enemies of democracy”? What does she see as the cause of their opposition to suffrage?
  • How would you describe Cobden-Sanderson’s overall view of the United States? Do you think her “outsider’s” perspective provides insights other documents in the collection do not offer? Explain your answer.

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