Top of page

Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Virginia Arnold with "Kaiser Wilson" banner August 14, 1917. National Woman's Party Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (086.00.00)

National Woman's Party

Some suffrage organizations tempered their demand for the vote in hopes that support for the war effort would further their cause. The National Woman's Party (NWP), however, kept securing for women the right to vote at the top of its agenda throughout the war. Enduring insults, physical violence, and legal prosecution for their efforts, NWP members first picketed the White House in January 1917. In the fall, dozens of members were arrested and imprisoned. Drawing attention to the cause, suffragists such as Virginia Arnold (pictured here) turned Woodrow Wilson's outspoken sympathy for self-government into a critique of the president and his opposition to a constitutional amendment for women's suffrage. Initially Wilson had said that women's voting rights should be left to the states to decide.