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How the Vote Was Won: Woman Suffrage in the Western United States, 1868-1914 (Paperback)
  • How the Vote Was Won: Woman Suffrage in the Western United States, 1868-1914 (Paperback)

How the Vote Was Won: Woman Suffrage in the Western United States, 1868-1914 (Paperback)

Paperback 273 Pages / Published: 01/01/2006
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By the end of 1914, almost every Western state and territory had enfranchised its female citizens in the greatest innovation in participatory democracy since Reconstruction. These Western successes stand in profound contrast to the East, where few women voted until after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, and the South, where African-American men were systematically disenfranchised. How did the frontier West leap ahead of the rest of the nation in the enfranchisement of the majority of its citizens?

In this provocative new study, Rebecca J. Mead shows that Western suffrage came about as the result of the unsettled state of regional politics, the complex nature of Western race relations, broad alliances between suffragists and farmer-labor-progressive reformers, and sophisticated activism by Western women. She highlights suffrage racism and elitism as major problems for the movement, and places special emphasis on the political adaptability of Western suffragists whose improvisational tactics earned them progress.

A fascinating story, previously ignored, How the Vote was Won reintegrates this important region into national suffrage history and helps explain the ultimate success of this radical reform.

Publisher: New York University Press
ISBN: 9780814757222
Number of pages: 273
Weight: 404 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm


"In this densely written and tightly argued work, Mead (Northern Michigan Univ.) presents answers to the often asked question of why woman suffrage was accomplished in the US West well before it was in the East."

"In this superb study . . . Rebecca J. Mead convincingly demonstrates the importance of the region to understanding the success of the national suffrage movement."
-American Historical Review

"Rebecca Mead's book is a very important contribution not only to our understanding of suffrage victories in the American West, but also helps us to better understand the region and the vagaries of American electoral politics more generally. How the Vote Was Won tackles a thorny scholarly problem and does so with ambition, reach, and success."
-William Deverell,California Institute of Technology

"In this fine study, Rebecca Mead answers with skill and sweep the intriguing question that historians have forgotten to ask: why did women in the West gain the vote decades before those in the rest of the nation?"
-Joyce Appleby,University of California, Los Angeles

"How the Vote Was Won is the first comprehensive, modern history of woman suffrage in the American West. Mead shows us that virtually everything that is modern and important about the winning stages of the woman suffrage movement began in the West. This is a bold, original history that historians of the West, of women, of the United States in general, should be sure to read."
-Ellen Carol DuBois,University of California, Los Angeles

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