Alice Paul, “Why the Suffrage Struggle Must Continue,” The Suffragist, April 21, 1917 from Ellen Skinner, ed



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Documents for Woman Suffrage Group B, 1
Alice Paul, “Why the Suffrage Struggle Must Continue,” The Suffragist, April 21, 1917 (from Ellen Skinner, ed. Women and the National Experience: Primary Sources in American History 2nd edition, p. 168)
Never was there greater need of work for internal freedom in this country. At the very moment when democracy is increasing among nations in the throes of war, women in the United States are told that attempts at electoral reforms are out of place until war is over. The Democrats have decided in caucus that only war measures shall be included in their legislative program, and have announced that they will take up no new subjects, unless the President considers them of value for war purposes. Suffrage has not yet been included under this head. . . . No “war measure” that has been suggested would contribute more toward establishing unity in the country, that would the giving of suffrage to all the people. It will always be difficult to wage a war for democracy abroad while democracy is denied at home.

Documents for Woman Suffrage Group B, 2


Cartoon, 1909 (http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/election/voters4.html)

Documents for Woman Suffrage Group B, 3


Picketers from the National Woman’s Party outside the White House, 1917 (http://memory.loc.gov/learn/features/election/voters6.html)

Documents for Woman Suffrage Group B, 4

Picketers from the National Woman’s Party, at the White House, 1917 (http://www.phschool.com/atschool/worldhistory/Survey_3e/Student_Area/WHS_S_CHAP24.html)


Documents for Woman Suffrage Group B, 5



Amendment XIX to the United States Constitution


The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Documents for Woman Suffrage Group B, 6
From “The Ballet and The Bullet,” compiled by Carrie Chapman Catt for the National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1897 (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/naw:@field(DOCID+@lit(rbnawsan2415div4)))
One prominent objection to woman suffrage is that women cannot fight, and therefore cannot enforce their will, nor execute such laws as they might enact. This objection is based on the supposition that women are to be a distinct and separate force in government, when they are clothed with the elective franchise, a political condition which is merely suppositious, and can never exist.

When woman has the ballot, it is only adding so much political power to the men, or to the leading parties of the nation. It is claimed that women will vote generally as men desire. If so, the vote will be simply augmented, and each party will be composed of men and women, of the same relative strength as now, and the fighting force of the men will remain the same--and if women cannot fight, as is asserted, the fighting ability of men is not affected by woman's enfranchisement. Men will have the same strength to enforce their will that they ever had. But such an objection is frivolous, because men do not execute their will by the sword and cannon and War Department, but through recognized governmental agencies,--the law and its penalties, and officers and courts, and various forms of administrative government.



Men do not now fight to carry on the government and execute their will, and there are thousands of men who vote, who have no fighting ability, and no physical strength to enforce their will or any law. And if women cannot have the ballot because they cannot fight, why should not men be disenfranchised for the same reason?


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