How the Vote Was Won: Woman Suffrage in the Western United States, 1868-1914 (Paperback)Rebecca Mead (author)
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Uncovers how women in the West fought for the right to vote
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
Number of pages: 273
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
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
Rebecca Meads 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 superb study . . . Rebecca J. Mead convincingly demonstrates the importance of the region to understanding the success of the national suffrage movement. * American Historical Review *
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. * Choice *
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