tv The Suffrage Movement the 19th Amendment CSPAN February 9, 2019 4:49pm-6:00pm EST
and collectively what you got was a mass killing. >> was he a prior after he was paroled? mr. grann: yes, very much the. o. very much s thank you all so much and thank you for waiting. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> history bookshelf features the most well-known history writers of the past decade talking about their books. you can watch our series every saturday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. next on american history tv, we hear about women's struggles
to win the vote and about the lead up to the ratification of the 19th amendment. two speakers and authors present at the national constitution center. it is just over one hour. i am delighted to welcome you to today's program. it is presented in partnership with vision 2020 as part of the national initiative headquartered at drexel university here in philadelphia. have the pleasure of introducing the woman behind 2020 for a few brief remarks. she is the president and founder of vision 2020, the director of
drexel's institute for women's health, and a chair and women's health. of women's founder way, the first and largest women's fundraising coalition and the nation. 1980erved as its ceo from to 1992, when she ran for the u.s. senate. in 1994, she was appointed by president clinton to mid-atlantic regional director for the department of health and human services. she is the ribs -- recipient of many awards. please join me in welcoming her. [applause] >> thank you. vision 2020 has had this wonderful partnership with the national constitution center for almost 10 years now.
in this very space, we did a preview of our decade-long campaign for women's equality in 2009. in 2010, we convened our first national congress are in this very auditorium with delegates from all 50 states and the district of columbia. we launched an american conversation about women and leadership. our focus has been on the year 2020 and on the centennial of women's rights to vote. gettingbeen focused on and accelerating the pace of progress for women in this nation. i have been working on these issues for decades. we got some great breakthroughs recently but the pace has been pretty glacial. vision 2020, i am really looking forward to this presentation today. it is very much part of our three-part overarching mission
which is to honor the past, to enrich the present, and to shape the future. we really want to encourage him people to be involved not only in shared leadership among women and men but also in civic engagement and fixing the things that need to be fixed. vision 2020 national coalition now has over 100 allied organizations all over the u.s. in addition to our delegates from coast-to-coast. women'sworking on economic, political, and social equality. we have a goal of 50-50 shared leadership among women and men in business and government. economic parity, youth education, and civic engagement. more women running for office and more women voting. that is a very encouraging piece of what has gone on in 2018.
-- to go until 2020 and the ambitious plans that we have for women 100, a celebration of american women. it is a very exciting time for us. we have an interactive exhibition which will be at the kimmel center for performing arts for most of the year. we have a spring break through for college students. a road rally which is traveling to seneca falls in back -- and back, celebrating the history of women's suffrage. and our big national congress and the year 2020 in philadelphia in september. additional goal for that year is to have a modest 100% of eligible women voting and the 2020 election. [laughter] it is a great goal.
[applause] to honor the that demonstrate that we are a majority and we can act like the majority we are. so that is a big part of our focus. i invite all of you to plan to join us for our celebration and visit our website. to volunteer to become a member. you are all invited. we have a lot to very exciting things that are in the works. finally, i just want to say that i have not given a lot of thought to be sequenced of the 27 amendments to the constitution. it occurred to me recently that , and9th amendment franchising my half of the population, came after the 18th amendment, which was prohibition. once the nation
sobered up, it came to its senses. [laughter] [applause] [applause] we look forward to partnering with vision 2020 in the future for other programs like this. features toram authors who have written compelling new books about the history of the fight for women's suffrage. teele is at the university of pennsylvania. she is the coeditor of a volume in progress about women and
political candidacy. her most recent book was about the political origins of the women's vote. eiss has had writing in the new york times, harpers, the atlantic, and others. her first book was about women in the great war. about the book is fight to win the vote. into a tvg adapted series by steven spielberg, hillary clinton, and others. please join me in welcoming them. [applause] thank you so much for being here. awn, in your book you read about the importance of political competition. elaine narrates that in great .etail
about --you talk dawn, can you talk about this? thank you so much for having me. i am a political scientist and i these strategic interaction between suffragists and politicians. them at a take about higher level of abstraction. in my book, i discussed the fact that politicians, in order to do anything, have to believe there is some advantage for them. in many countries around the world, women began to demand the vote in the middle of the 19th century.
after seneca falls, after 1848. politiciances, the say the women do not want it and it is not clear if they would vote at all. it did not seem to anybody at first as if it could be a good law to reform the electoral , which takes a very long time, without knowing something about what would happen after they extended the vote to women. there was a lot of uncertainty about women's votes. everything was said under the sun. they would be in the pockets of the priests. i argue that mobilization of women is important not only for getting this issue on the agenda for many women around the world, but also because the things that women did when they mobilized, the types of arguments that they made, the ancillary causes that they fought for along the way to
the vote, dave politicians and idea about what women were going to do with the mobilization itself can't change people's minds. it also sends a signal to people in elected office about what women will do after they are enfranchised. that's the key part of information people were looking for in deciding whether or not to let women have the vote. in your novel, you focus on a number of characters who were behind the mobilization effort. can you talk about the characters? namely carrie, josephine, and sue. who were they, why were they so significant? elaine: i will make one slight correction to your question. my book is not a novel. it is not fiction, it is nonfiction. it is history.
end.nd notes at the i did borrow some novelistic techniques. i wanted to make this story readable and enjoyable. wrote the reasons i such an that there's important part of our history. half of our nation being enfranchised after seven decades of bitter struggle. a few knew it. there's wonderful scholarships done on it. for the general reader, the general american of all ages, there's a wonderful seminole book that was a history of struggle. but it's not
something you would stay up reading. i wanted to make this a character driven story. it is a political story. sets theher book, parameters and foundation. the political foundation of why this had to happen. story.d to humanize the wheni i realized -- when i realized, i came across the library of congress by accident. i was researching something else and came across a report, a request given to the suffrage movement. it was how the money was spent. i was following the money. of theed met some money went to the ratification effort. in the report, it details what happened in the very last battle. the happened to try to get
36 states to ratify. there were 48 states in the union, three quarters have to prove an amendment. this was the last best chance for suffragists for various reasons. i wanted to tell the story, but not in a dry, historic way. i wanted to bring the reader along to understand these women and men. what were their motivations, their backgrounds, what personal history brought them to this ofent and to their ideas equality? the fight for suffrage is not just a political fight. it is very much a political fight, but it was a social and cultural, for some, a moral struggle about women in society. that made it a precursor to what we call the culture wars now.
andad layers of emotional moral layers of meaning. it made it much more passionate and volatile than just the political yes you can vote, no you can't. this is really changing how world, thee in the world, and the government. one of the fears is that women were going to demand more things. a wonderful piece of information. these three women who represented different aspects of the struggle all arrived internationa -- in nashville, tennessee on the same night. there were summoned to lead this last battle.
the president of the national american women suffragists association. the main suffrage organization claimed about 2 million members. she's a protege of susan b anthony. she brings the lineage, the whole history of the movement, down to tennessee. young third the generation suffragists. she is 32 years old. she has left the mainstream. throwing her fortunes with alice paul, the national women's party, the more radical suffrage wing. she is tired of asking. no more fighting for the low, demanding the vote. they are willing to take on new tactics and strategies, confrontational aspects that have never been done before. they are thrown in prison for
it. she represents the other strain. oftin pearson, the president the tennessee association of women, opposed to women suffrage. this brings in the aspect of the anti-suffragists women and men. by the women who opposed their sisters getting the vote. what with their motivations? i'm able to tell the story through these three characters. then there's the host of people who enter the fray. oft: this is not a book fiction. it's so engrossing, it reads like a novel. elain's book starts off with the ratification fight in tennessee. it's the battle to get the 19th amendment ratified. what else is happening while federal amendment ratification was going on?
you have the interesting map in your book that shows the status of voting rights for women state-by-state. the majority of states that had granted women though right to vote before this was passed were mostly western states. can you talk about that map? what was happening in the west that granted women the right to vote that wasn't happening out east? of thehe map is the map u.s. there are many ways you can color it. in the new york times, they have maps of gay marriage, many different things. the map for suffrage looks the same way the map for the legalization of marijuana looks today. there's a long history of more progressive politics that start in some places and pop up in bursts in other places. for anybody who has read any of the archives from this time, you will be familiar with the map. the suffragists themselves kept
these detailed and beautiful maps ever evolving that they would use in their publications to people who were already suffrage is, their propaganda, and getting more people to join the cause. of the imagine the map u.s. as it is, there were 48 states. 45, 48 during this time. beginning around 1848 until 1920. the western states were many of the first places that let women vote. what has been a puzzle for many historians is the suffrage movement by all accounts was stronger in the east. particularly in new england. new york, massachusetts. parts of pennsylvania, new jersey. historians have always looked at this and said "it must be something about the political , becausef the west
everybody who's a notable suffragists is from the east." in my book, i talk about how we can think about the west not only in terms of this monolithic concept of culture, but also in terms of the political landscape of those territories that then became states during this battle. example, coulter is not a great explanation for a phenomenon that took place over more than 30 years in the west. they said it's a good idea the very first time they asked. itdid happen in wyoming, but was a battle in colorado. it was a huge battle in california. organ, several attempts. many attempts in the west. prior to a string of in franchise mints at the federal level beginning in 1910.
something that we may not all realize is that the state has the ability to decide who votes for all of the positions that are elected above state legislatures. after most of it, the senate was elected by state legislature. the 17th amendment in 1912 basically allow for direct elections. if our states in the u.s. determine whether or not you can vote at the presidential level and for the legislature at the national level, the state-level ratification -- the state-level enfranchisement was full in french is meant of women. you have full enfranchisement of michigan, newois, york prior to the 19th amendment even getting on the docket in the senate and the house at the national level. my book is that
what we have to think about the west is not just political culture, but this tumult to this ise where the party alliance not as a solidified as the east. machine politics exist in the cities, but not entrenched as the east. these are places where politics are up for grabs in many ways. the i argue is that electoral, higher levels of competition, lead to the entrepreneurial activities of courting new voters. states,estern politicians thought maybe this is a group i can court and win. i don't have a necessarily solid ethnic voting base the way tammany hall did in new york city. flux. a place in greater that flux is not just political culture, but the western political landscape. that is one key thing distinguishing the west from east when we think about women's
suffrage. a political scientist, i love thinking about new sources of data, or using sources of data in a new way. graphed they membership in various suffrage organizations, including nasa, the biggest one, the west actually had high in moments of mobilization surrounding some of these big pushes. this received wisdom that the new england movement was the strongest. that's true through the history. had highthe west levels of mobilization around that referendum campaign. in some ways, we have to revise our notion of it was all the west,nt activity in the not in the east. there are many big pushes, big campaigns. all kinds of marches going on in the western states. especially in those
territories, like wyoming and utah, utah gives its women the vote very early. was also a sort of immigration aspect. they needed women to come out. there was that pioneering. it was also trying to get women to move. there was a commercial aspect, too. states like tennessee that maybe didn't have these other factors that came into play with the political competition in the west, they coupletsother strange of forces, these groups, it wasn't just the south and the anti-s fighting, interest groups. they seemed to be afraid of how women were voting. can you talk a little bit about that?
there were women voting in many other states. i'm curious as to why that fear was there if they can look to other states and say their women this way and that way. -- statese idea that have the right to make the laws for their citizens, in terms of voting. the patchwork, this incredible map which is roca dots -- itkadots and patches, demonstrates the different kinds of suffrage. there was a limited suffrage. some states pacified women. they see the tide is coming. under a lot of pressure to give women some of voting rights. places, they can only vote in municipal elections. , mayben vote for mayor
their city alderman or councilmen. for thenot vote senators, state representatives, the governors, anywhere where there is patronage and power involved. there's this patchwork of who can vote and who cannot. one of the things i found so fascinating in my research was that suffrage -- we think of it ita silo, not affected by cultural or economic forces, but very much is. one of the interesting things i found was the corporate influence, the dark money coursing through the anti-suffrage movement. have 27on was you million women's eligible to vote under the federal amendment. no one knew how they were going to vote. they were corporate interests who saw that women might be bad for business. it was simple as that.
industry, for instance, it very opposed to women voting, because women have been very much active in the temperance movement. for some women, that was a moral decision that drinking was wrong. for most other women, it was a domestic violence issue. all states, women had no rights to bring their husbands who beat them or their children to court. women did not have the right to press charges. couldn't serve on juries, they couldn't file civil complaints, women could not testify on their own behalf. that was some of the inhibitions to women's rights going on. when the liquor industry sees women are promoting temperance.
prohibition is in effect in 1920. they say "we have prohibition, but we don't want it in force." 1920,re willing, even in hoping that it won't be enforced too rigorously if they can keep women away from the polls. they are sponsoring a lot of anti-suffrage campaigns around the country against ratification. it comes to a head in tennessee, where they establish the jeff daniels suite. a speakeasy on the eighth floor of the hermitage hotel where legislators are staying. it dispenses liquor morning, noon, and night to anyone up there. ofse great scenes
legislators careening through the halls and having to be thrown in the showers to sober up to go into vote. the textile manufacturers are also very active in trying to thwart ratification of the 19th amendment. they fear that if mothers can vote, they may want to abolish child labor. the backbone of their industry, it was cheap. they are trying to keep women away. the railroad industry. they bought a lot of legislatures. they needed favors from both congress and state legislatures because they had been nationalized during world war i. they were hoping the men whose palms they greased would vote their way and the afraid women may not reelect them. they have these interesting corporate interests that have a strong effect on whether this
constitutional amendment is going to go through. host: adding to this complexity, especially in tennessee, considered a southern state, the great question. the suffragists and abolitionists were aligned around the time of reconstruction. when the suffragists, like susan realized it wasn't going to be fulfilled, there was the sad divorcing of the group from their former ally, frederick douglass, they were told about the woman's hour at the time. how did the race issue complicate this ratification site, especially in tennessee? issue was crucial throughout all of the american suffrage campaign. i will talk about that in a second. i want to take one step back and
say that it wasn't race in other countries, but things like that. it was religion in france, class in the u.k.. wasuch of latin america, it average analogy. the politics here, it's not unique in the sense of the deep kind of cleavage that it presented. it was also common in other countries. just the nature was slightly different. history of slavery in the u.s. is singular, in terms of these politics. douglass,d, frederick susan b anthony, elizabeth caddy stanton, they had been stumping all around the country for abolition. many of the first suffragists cut their teeth working in the abolition movement. anti-slaveryd of -- world anti-slavery conference
in the u.k. where women were told they were not allowed to participate as speakers in the platform that galvanized this issue. women don't have rights, what are we doing here? that was part of the initial surge. sectional politics in the u.s., and conflicts, the civil war, divided people within this progressive civil rights movement. get to because when you reconstruction, there are these debates about whether or not you will include women in the 15th amendment. various people got word that some of the southern senators were trying to split the provisions because they knew it was going to sink the bills completely. it's a much talked about conflict between anthony and
stanton and frederick douglass when he said "i'm going to push for these amendments to just include black men, because white women are not being strung up lynched, when they are, you can to him it's the women's hour. for now, it's negro's our." this is a dark moment. there's no way to get around it. on one hand, one has to agree with douglas about the immediacy. on the other hand, what about black women? what happens after that is stanton and anthony become incredibly angered. it's not pretty. if you've read their correspondent, there's a book by laura freed that looks at all of the things that happened after. there's no way to be proud of what happens after that.
say "screw you and the republican party, we are going to try to court those democrats, get money from them to run our periodicals and make a lot of hypocrisy ofut the these laws going forward." , and they ares right in some ways about the hypocrisy that is being fed to them. being allowed to vote is about citizenship and sharing reasons, whether you're educated, so on. when you get to reconstruction amendments that are supposed to apply, they are supposed to apply to basically any black man. the suffragists go around and say "we are educated, we're not lunatics." non-educated and limited men are allowed to have the vote. the propaganda becomes very ugly. there's a lot of postcards you can look at.
there's basically no way to get around the fact. makeare willing to bedfellows to get their things won. one thing i found very interesting, something that i knew about kerry cap, i knew she was a big pacifists. one thing i found interesting was this idea that in the final instance, the suffragists tiptoed around this race issue among the tennesseans. they didn't want to highlight the fact that black women were engaged in this cause. issuesnted to keep the separately. in many ways, similar hypocrisies came to the floor with the alliances carrie catt built during the first world war. the dark history is there throughout. the racism issue was
something that showed how important it is to the movement. it was really a surprise to me. it continues to the last moment and beyond 1920. thething to remember is suffragists and abolitionists are siblings up through reconstruction. they are then told the nation cannot handle two big reforms at once, and women will have to vot. that's where the title of -- woman will have to wait. that's where the title of my book comes from. they are angry. they have had to work for abolition, emancipation, and the 15th amendment. you can understand this. never make excuses for the vile language used. you also have those saying how
can you give recommend the vote and not black women? the race issue, which continues to rile the movement, one thing to our member is the 19th amendment is totally race neutral. it gives the vote to all women in every state and election. it's the way it was then interpreted by jim crow laws that made it racist. it's not the amendment, it's the way the man in the legislatures of mostly southern states, but some northern states, denied even as theye, denied black men the vote. the idea of making moral compromises for political success, i think is one of the things of my book. we don't like to think about that. it's really important to realize that frigid douglas, who is truly one of the heroes of my book, he's a universal
suffragist. he sticks with the idea of women's right to vote to the very end. it does get ugly. his friendship with stan and anthony was moved. and making a very important vital political choice, saying "i have to win freedom for my people, this is my role." the suffragists do the same thing. when it comes down to the federal amendment, which is that stateal in ways changes are not, because it also brings washington into the picture. it brings states rights into the picture. a lot of the opposition to the amendment. will hear 50 years later in the civil rights movement. states rights, washington election behavior.
like carrie cat a fascinatingh care. she is also the head of the national women's suffrage association. so she knows what's happening around the country. when it comes to winning the vote for all women, which is what the 19th amendment says, -- they willing to realize they are going to have to get southern senators and congressmen in the house of representatives, both on the sides of approving the amendment. the amendment was sitting in congress for 40 years. it was voted down 28 times. how will you get it out of there? "thereke the argument are more white women than black women, don't worry. white supremacy will not be
rocked." they also say "i know some states don't allow black men to vote, maybe they won't allow black women." they used terrible arguments. they know that they have to placate these southern legislators, then they have to go to each southern legislature to get this passed. they do make these arguments that make us win. some of my -- someone like carrie catt hopes that in the end, give the vote to all women. hope maybe all women will be able to vote. she also makes the compromise, she is a pacifist, but she says for the movement's sake, it's better to support world war i and make ourselves seem like we're the patriots we are.
so she goes against her own very tosonal beliefs in pacifism support the suffragist organization. alice paul refuses to do that. to make amends, carrie catt devotes rest of her life to pacifistic causes. clearly this was a great and moral decision very, very, i's think very telling that she's willing to do this because she thinks it will be good for the cause. so that's something we have to realize. intersectionality, these women had, as political animals, had to make these kind of decisions. publicly don't support margaret sanger and birth control which, what could be important for women taking charge of their lives, and yet it's illegal and controversial say we can't take on that baggage right now. it's very interesting what
choices they make. >> i thought it was powerful how in your book, it said a lot about frederick douglass' character that decide everything and done against the movement for black men's he remainedt friends with them and had a portrait of them in his study so even after he passed away, i think it was -- so i think that about him. elaine: he calls himself a women's rights man. very touching. another thing that was interesting that you wrote about theour book, prior to when suffragists drilled down on the anthony'sment, susan efforts early on to a, vote illegally, and she would get she tried to make an argument under one of the reconstruction amendments, 14th amendment, that the privileges and immunity clause guaranteed
women the right to vote and although her case wasn't heard by the supreme court, similar case was. i thought that was a unique argument to make. do you have anything to add about why the court decided not rule on that issue? 1872, and a few years that, theo suffragists realize that the 14th amendment which they opposed or some of them opposed -- there is a split in too.ovement there, has this privileges and immunities that all citizens should possess and women are citizens so they should possess and one of them being the right to vote and it's called the new departure. politicalof a science, legal interpretation. legal very ambitious interpretation of the amendment. tryso they say, ok, let's it and so susan anthony gets together, her sisters and some
of her friends in rochester, and this is actually a national movement. sojourner truth tries to vote in the 1872 presidential election. think, atichigan, i this point. and about 150 other women and been other attempts in, like, 1870 in new jersey and say --re trying to they're really provoking a test case. so they -- susan anthony goes to place andter polling they march in and she votes and convinces the registrars that she's entitled to this and she's a very famous person in town, very beloved and they kind oh, ok.h, and, of course, then it goes up to the powers that be and she is arrested. and she is tried and i go into her trial which is a total sham. she's not allowed to testify. not allowed -- the judge
pronounces her guilty without listening to the testimony. thethen she goes around country -- actually, around the state, giving lectures entitled, u.s. citizen for a to vote? which, of course, we're still asking that question. be she then wants to imprisoned. she really wants to be provoke a so she can test case to the supreme court and the judge knows that he does able to dor to be that so he does not imprison her. he imposes a fine. she refuses to pay it. he never tries to collect it. another womanre's in missouri, named virginia husband is a lawyer and she also tries to vote and she does successfully. she can't bring a suit so her husband brings suit on her behalf and this does go to the court and it does get
turned down saying that, no, women are -- states can make a non-votingss of citizens and they interpret non-votinging citizens. think,w, which is, i minor versus habberstat, becomes basis of some of the very egregious state laws banning americans from voting. you could take a class of your citizens and say they can't vote. so it's a really pernicious that i think takes a long, long time for its effects dissipated. lana: so they tried through the courts. they tried through the states. and it was working but it was decided, i so they think carrie catt focused on the allral amendment and
efforts droild that which brings us to tennessee which is where the ratification fight culminated. think was really interesting to read about was just the grittiness of the fight the state level, the local interests,he special the different groups. women against, women for. men in thekeeping hotel room so they wouldn't go home and could stay around for the special session. really, really compelling to read about, like how much thist it took to get amendment ratified. so i don't know, dawn, if you thoughts or reactions to, what was the effect of doing via constitutional amendment rather than let's say the supreme court if they had case, having it come down as a court decision? there any special effect across the country that caused to accept itates more or accept it less? i'm curious about the method of
the change as a constitutional amendment versus other methods that same change. dawn: the constitutional does not actually women the right to vote but it says that insofar as that women the right to states create voting rights, they cannot exclude people on the basis of sex. similar to the language of the 15th amendment which says states people on the basis of race. the reason why you have to have that kind of language is because there is nothing in the constitution that says citizens have the right to vote which is habberstatversus basically confirmed. women are citizens but the does not guarantee the right to vote to citizens so in some ways the only reason why you needed a federal amendment is to guarantee it in all the states in the south that were give women voting rights or at least that was the perception. and that have not to this day
ratified the 19th amendment. something like 12 of 14 states presently ratified the 19th amendment. elaine: actually have have. dawn: some of them never did. all have.think they my state of maryland in 1958 and mississippi in 1984. that may have been the last. i think it's the 13th amendment have not. dawn: one interesting thing to though, most of the countries in the world gave rights gradually to propertied men and then to lower of property or if there was just an income requirement, enfranchised as development pursued in the 19th century but there were some some local governments around the world where women actually did have prior to the sort of emergence of democracy on the world stage. there were a couple of states in
u.s., new jersey, massachusetts, where propertied were -- widows exercised the ballot in the late and the word "male" was written into constitution at state level. this is also the case for present day quebec, which, when was lower canada, many women with property had the right to vote and then women in quebec at level had to wait until 1940 to vote so around the almostou see this interesting hypocrisy might not be the right word, but contradiction, where the to democracy for men actually brought the disenfranchisement of women who were from the upper classes. theso the whole course of late 19th and early 20th century is actually like regaining women and then expanding those rights further afield. and this tactic of trying to allowed toto being
vote was utilized in many countries, too. brazil, intina, in france and in england, women who suffragists did the same thing and this issue of whether or not women were citizens and citizens had voting rights was adjudicated in many countries around the world so history, in fact. but one that is made more states,t in the united that kind of ruling is made more difficult in the u.s. precisely because of the federal system we say the states have the right to determine who votes at the federal and the state level which is different than some of the other federal states in the world so in canada, for example, the right to have decide who votes in provincial elections similar to switzerland. but it's the federal government if you vote in the federal elections so you have many countries around the world at highern could vote levels but not at lower levels which is sort of also the case presidential loophole
in the u.s. but i guess the thing is, it's complicated. federalu need a amendment? well, the suffragists all wanted powerfule that's a symbol and suggests something that can't be taken away. only one amendment was ever repealed. that's the 18th with prohibition so you need it in part because there are a bunch of southern states that the women are they're never going to win through the state route. a federalt going for amendment, which, again, both decides -- they always were trying, since it was 1878, they're trying for the federal amendment. do carrie catt says let's both. and again, this is the same inategy that will be used marriage equality and in a lot rights struggles that will follow in the 20th and 21st century.
get states, pivotal states to accept this and that puts pressure on congress or on the courts. and so they have this two-fold, plan. a winning like a double track. will get some states, that put pressure on congress. alice paul says, no, just the federal amendment. forget the states. we're just going to go there. so you have these two strategies five yearst four or of the struggle, working parallel and sometimes jumping but theother's toes federal amendment brings its own difficulties. again, the being, southern states see this as an imposition of reconstruction of racist lot literature you see emerge in tennessee in the last fight has to do with do you want to open this can of worms, if we allow washington to oversee who the vote in our state, well, they'll start looking
whether we are upholding the 15th amendments, allowing black men to vote and you know we're not. willing -- a vote for the 19th amendment, federal will bring washington to oversee the 14th and 15th. and there are enforcement have allowedwould to reduce the representation of those states voting to their citizens so they were really afraid of a federal amendment and there's a really interesting part where there are suffragists, southern suffragists, who had been of theiror this all lives, who then switch over to the anti-side because they will accept the federal amendment. they'll take it from their state. they very much want to vote but because it's a federal amendment, they go and work for the anti-suffragists and they other inont each
nashville. lana: we have great audience questions i want to get to, too. spoiler alert, it was ratified. it won in tennessee. i want to say in elaine's book, writes about the ratification debate was made for steven so i can see why spielberg is interested in making it a tv show. hecomes down to one vote and pulls out a letter from his mother who says do the right thing so it's an amazing story after it was ratified, the fight still wasn't over, of course. elaine: the fight goes on. lana: but they were successful. story., it's a terrific so the first audience question this tod dawn i'll put you and elaine, feel free to answer, as well. e.r.a. amendment a failure given the success of the amendment? dawn: many books about that. an old argument about
intrafeminist schisms, whether straight andity simple or an understanding that women are different -- maybe biologically, some think psychologically -- so whether we need to take into account those when we're thinking about how to form laws and policies that affect women's rights. to thes argument was key suffrage debates and inter-suffrage schisms but also the very idea that was e.r.a. so a lot of women have been working to get special provisions for coulds to say that they have reduced factory hours and 14-hourllowed to work shifts which if you are a woman,t or lactating seems like that would be daunting but a lot of other women that thought that would be
cause andof our equality if we're treated in a special way so i think one of the reasons -- one of the big reasons why we lost the e.r.a. it's not clear that even among people that consider feminists that that would have been a great thing. elaine: yeah. it's very interesting. the e.r.a. is written by sue white, both appear in my book, and crystal eastman. all of these women have law degrees in 1923. very correctly, that suffrage is the first part of gaining equal rights and now on to theto move other rights that are needed and are economic rights. remember, women could not get 1970's, undern their own name. rights.cational it is the laws of states, many
of which handicap women's progress. and they say, ok, now it's time to have equality in all these other sectors of our lives and draft the e.r.a. and it's introduced in 1923. but carrie catt is against it. ideas that the progressive movement has worked so hard for so many years to get protections for women -- in industry, in other areas. and that would be put in jeopardy, they feel. roosevelt is against it all her life. so it's not so simple. this idea that all women said, ok, now we're doing e.r.a. it was controversial from the beginning and it's interesting now to see it coming up again. think it's a reminder, after , that federal
amendments, constitutional amendments, can get very close not be ratified. that's what we were facing in 1920 with the 19th amendment. it really could have failed. to the e.r.a. has not gotten that threshold. there are movements now to the deadline to get the states ratified -- but it is still controversial among feminists even though it does seem like it would be a good thing to do. is not without some controversy. the: please compare percentage of women who register to vote versus men and castntage of women who their vote versus men and are onay's women capitalizing the efforts of the suffrage movement? women are they largest group in the electorate and vote at higher rates than men. this just started happening like 10 years ago. are the largest
group of women in the electorate. black women are the second largest but smaller number overall. black women in the past two elections have surpassed white women in the turnout rates but it's a small group and for some latinos and latinas vote low rates. lived upion, have we to all that has been not granted us, i can'tor for really answer that. really that it's mobilize people without a big target to shoot at. aat suffrage did was take whole host of issues that women all over the united states and andworld were fighting for condensed them into a single kind of movement with a whencular mission and you're a -- when you become a movement, once
that's won, it can be hard to thedify those gains and get league of women voters to votes as awomen's bloc, et cetera. so the thing we have struggled with in the past 15 or 20 years is without an obvious single issue, how do you mobilize? how do you circle the wagon? how do you get everybody to march in the streets and get to support financially your cause. a reason whyere's we have waves of mobilization for all social movements and the's no different for women's movement and the question is, right now, you shootwhat's the target to at, and if you're not -- if there isn't a clear target, like they're ok. if you're going to get a lady president for the first time, everybody's like, yes, things ok, i can stay home and give a check or something like that while youonce in a have a rude weakening, water is thrown on your head and you got a target,u've
how can we find a way to shoot. 1920, the 19th amendment is passed, enters the august 26.n on and there's only 10 weeks until presidential election. and so there's very little time some statesand in like georgia they actually refused to allow women to a patchworkthere's of registration. in only one -- probably one three women who's eligible votes press asks carrie catt, you fought so hard, what happened? and she says, you know, voting is a learned behavior. and women have not learned to vote yet. and that will come. and it's true that in many of the communities, it was legal to vote, but your family might not approve of it. your husband.
your pastor. your ladies club. was a lot of still social womenance to the idea of exercising equal rights. it takes another 40 years participation begins to equal men's in the not until thes 1980's that the percentage begins to overtake men. so it takes a long time and i think you can say that maybe we to it for a long time. thathe other part of equation is the suffragists were promising and threatening a a women's bloc of vote so they could go to and presidents and
say if you don't support the 19th amendment, we are going to come after you when we have the vote. that never materialized. never a women's bloc of vote so politicians in the 1920's figured this out. [sneezing in the audience] elaine: bless you. no longerre responsive to women's lobbying when they thought there might be a bloc of women who would vote. so it's very interesting, theing about mobilizing, suffragist movement because there was a big umbrella with women from both parties, from all parts of the country, with all kinds of different sectional who wereical ideas, under this big tent and then it their and they all go separate ways and it's actually are moreragists who focused and go on and keep it up fight the suffragists in
other battles and they become the anti-communists, part of the anti-communist movement. catt of accuse carrie being a communist. they go on into the mccarthy era. see them, phyllis slavly comes out this movement. whoned conservative women have certain issues and whether that's floriddation in the whether it's the e.r.a., see -- we seed we that legacy right now. so it's very interesting, the into their dissipate own causes and the anti-suffragists who have mobilize to fight the 19th amendment and fight the states, actually become stronger. unfortunately we are out of time. please join me in thanking dawn
and elaine. [applause] lana: and books are available authors are and available to sign books, as well, after the program. so thank you. [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national 2019]satellite corp. announcer: interested in american history tv? visit our website, c-span.org/history. schedule,ew our tv preview upcoming programs and watch college lectures, museum archival films and more.
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america, black farmers and share rural mississippi describe violence and intimidation they experienced to register to vote. 1963l never turn back," a film sponsored by the student nonviolent coordinating committee. here's a preview. >>. the miloed on plantation for 18 years. i had signs of keeping up with and paying off and i went down to the 31st of august to try to register and after i had gotten back home, mr. milo told me i would have to go down registration or leave because they wasn't ready mississippi and i said, mr. milo, i'm trying to have to for myself so i leave that same night after i had gone down in august. then i spent one night with
mrs. tucker and after the fact, two days in september, they shot times, thinking that i was there. >> the reason why i'm in the the south is because i think that things have gotten to the point where people have for themselves. they've got to stop depending on or theeral government state governments or even local governments to secure their rights for them. act to win the rights that the constitution must make and people up their minds that if they want to be free and if they want others to be free, then they've got to do something, something beyond just giving money or casting a vote or wishing others well but they've got to put their bodies in the movement, as we say. they've got to get out on the front lines and they've got to themselves andr for other people.
♪ which side are you on, boys, you on ♪e are lies ♪ listen to his ♪ which side are you on, boys, which side are you on ♪ ♪ which side are you on, boys, which side are you on ♪ ♪ which side are you on, boys, which side are you on ♪ announcer:watch the entire film "we'll never turn back" tonight at 10:00 p.m.a eastern here on american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, on c-span3. next, on announcer: next on "the civil war," a group of historians discuss the different ways women