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[Detail] Suffragettes procession after release from prison.

Historical Issues-Analysis and Decision Making: Examining Costs and Benefits of Different Strategies for Achieving the Vote

The documents in The Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks collection demonstrate the many strategies available to and used by the advocates of women’s suffrage. Choosing which strategy to use at a particular time required careful analysis of the situation. Read the letter to the editor of the Lyons Republican by Cornell Professor Nathaniel Schmidt.

  • How does Professor Schmidt use the experience of nations that had granted full political suffrage to support his argument in defense of equal suffrage?
  • How does Schmidt evaluate alternative programs to grant the vote to women based on property ownership or literacy?
  • What course of action does he recommend?

Write an essay evaluating the costs and benefits of different strategies employed by the women’s movement in the United States and Britain in the first decade of the 20th century. If you had been a leader of the women’s suffrage movement in either country, what strategies for achieving change would you have used?