1) What was the main concern of Republican Reconstruction Congressmen in terms of politics? The main goal of Republicans at this time was to give black men the right to vote. However, they did not grant suffrage to black men out of sympathy; rather, they did so in order to gain political clout in the South. 2) What was unique about the 14th Amendment and what does this say about the “new birth of freedom” coming out of the civil war? The 14th Amendment was unique, because for the first time, the Constitution explicitly contained the world “male” instead of speaking of “the people” or “citizens.” Saying that there was a new birth of freedom after the Civil War is a misleading statement. It is true that suffrage was given to the black man, thereby, giving African-American men more freedom. However, at the same time, women were further subjected to political tyranny, because they were now denied the right to vote by the existing state law as well as the new federal law (14th Amendment).
3) What was the somewhat dismissive reasoning provided by the abolitionists when denying women an inclusion in the 15th Amendment? The 15th Amendment stipulated that suffrage could not be denied on the basis of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Feminists wished to include that suffrage could not be denied on the basis of sex as well. However, Republicans would not change their plan to give the vote only to the black man. The abolitionists, who for a long time championed their platform as well as the women’s suffrage movement’s, refused to side with the feminists. They justified their rejection of the women’s suffrage movement by stating that African American male suffrage was more important than the right to vote for women.
4) Explain Fredrick Douglass’s “When women… because they are women…” speech. Fredrick Douglass, a prominent abolitionist, in his speech, explicitly states that the women’s suffrage movement was nowhere near as important as giving the black man the right to vote. He does this by providing vivid examples of the horrid treatment of blacks (i.e. they were dragged from their homes and hung from lamp posts, they had their children torn from their arms, etc.) and states that when women are treated in this manner, then they will have an urgency to gain suffrage.
5) Explain how the split in the suffrage movement transpired and the response and organization of each faction. After betrayal by the abolitionists, all feminists were angry. However, some like Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe continued to be connected with the abolitionist movement. This caused anger in people like Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who believed that women that put their sex first, should lead the feminist movement.
Anthony and Stanton eventually formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and Stone and other feminists formed the American Woman Suffrage Association. The AWSA believed that they should only focus on one issue; in other words, they should focus on woman’s suffrage, rather than concentrating on a variety of feminist issues. On the other hand, the NWSA, adopted a broad, liberal platform that linked women’s suffrage to a number of other women’s issues. This difference lasted for over twenty years. 6) What was the significance of the Revolution?
The Revolution was a feminist newspaper financed by George Train and written by Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. This sixteen-page weekly paper touched on every aspect of a woman’s life; work, maternity, marriage, etc. The Revolution covered news for, and by, women and was also a forum for feminist theory and practice. For example, Stanton used the pages of the Revolution to explain why she opposed the present marriage system. Overall, this paper was used to promote feminist ideas in the United States of America.
7) How, according to the author, did Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony fail to consider the relationship between class and suffrage? The author states that Stanton and Anthony were at their weakest when discussing class and suffrage because they were never able to understand that class, rather than sex, determined the priorities of working women. While Stanton and Anthony believed in the vote over unions, working women supported economic justice over political justice. 8) In any ways did Stanton and Anthony reveal themselves to be hypocrites? If so, explain. I think that they were hypocrites in a way. For example, in the Revolution, Anthony and Stanton supported the unionizing efforts of women printers. At the same time, they hired a nonunion supporting printing shop for their newspaper. By hiring this nonunion printing shop, they betrayed working woman, just as much as the abolitionists did when they supported the 14th and 15th Amendments.
9) Who was Victoria Woodhull? Why is she important? Why were her views considered radical? Provided examples from the reading. Victoria Woodhull was born into an unstable and poor drifting family. At 15, she married a middle-aged physician who was an alcoholic. Eventually, Victoria returned to her family and continued her work as a spiritualist. Then, without divorcing her first husband, she married Colonel Harvey Blood. They both were huge believers in the principal of “free love”, a radical belief at the time whereby a person had the right to sexual relations outside of marriage. With this message in hand, Victoria and Blood moved to New York City.
It was here that Woodhull began her rise to prominence; in particular, after she gained the respect of Commorade Vanderbilt, who provided her with the very best stock tips. These tips allowed Victoria and to gain a considerable fortune. In 1872, she appeared in the House of Representatives, where she talked about woman’s suffrage. The NWSA was floored by her speech, and invited her to join their group. Unfortunately her radical views in “free love” eventually led to her demise because the public was astonished at the fact that she lived with both her first and second husbands. From then on, she was attacked and denounced by the public.
10) According to Woodhill and Claflin what is the “unspoken fear” of many nineteenth century women and what do they propose as a remedy? Woodhill and Claflin say that the “unspoken” fear of numerous women in the 19th century was prostitution, because many men at the time contracted venereal diseases from prostitutes to wives. In solution for this problem, Woodhill and Claflin proposed that prostitutes should receive weekly medical examinations.
11) What was one point of contention between the American Wing and the Nationalist Wing of the feminists’ movement? One point of contention between the American Wing and the Nationalist Wing was whether or not to accept Woodhall in the feminist movement. The Nationalist Wing was extremely supportive of Woodhall’s policies. After her speech in the House of Representatives, they invited her to speak to their convention the following day. In addition, the Nationalist Wing believed in Woodhull’s ideas; for example, they called for reforms on every aspect of government after her speech and even supported her idea of secession. On the other hand, the American Wing denounced the Nationalist-Woodhall alliance by saying that the woman’s suffrage movement would be further inhibited if it were linked with free love.
12) What was Woodhull’s definition of “free love”? What price did she pay for expressing these views in the Steinway Hall proclamation? Woodhall defined “free love” as the right of any person to enjoy sexual relations outside of marriage. During a speech in Steinway Hall, she publically expressed her belief in free love and because of this she was denounced by the media and many of her old supporters vanished. 13) What was the view of Susan B. Anthony on the formed relationships between men and women? How did this view differ from Woodhull? Susan B. Anthony was a firm believer in not challenging the private relations between men and women. Single all her life, she proclaimed that women did not need men, only each other. On the other hand, Woodhull challenged many 19th century assumptions of private relations between men and women. For example, she believed that for most women, marriage was legalized prostitution; in other words, women married for money, not love.
14) What was the Beecher-Tilton affair? What was the result of Woodhull’s exposition of this event? After she was dismissed from the NWSA, Woodhull, looking for vengeance, decided to tell the public about the Beecher-Tilton affair. Henry Ward Beecher was the most famous liberal preacher of his day, and Elizabeth Tilton was one of his parishioners. Tilton was also married to Theodore Tilton, a staunch supporter of the women’s suffrage movement.
In 1872, Woodhull published this scandal in a special edition of her Weekly. This “scandal of the century” had many repercussions. For example, Theodore Tilton sued Beecher misconduct with his wife, and the reputations of both the Tiltons were ruined. In addition, Woodhull was arrested by Anthony Comstock, who claimed that the Weekly had distributed obscene literature through the mail. Although, Woodhull was eventually released, she never regained her social prominence.
15) What was the significance of the West during the 19th century women’s suffrage movement? The West during the 19th century provided a shining beacon of hope to the women’s suffrage movement. This is due to the fact that they saw the West as similar to the rural, small-town society of early America. They believed that in the West, women could regain the status of colonial women, while still being revered as Victorian ladies.