The Relationship Between Women Suffrage, Prohibition, and Progressivism

Paper Type:  Argumentative essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  861 Words
Date:  2022-09-28


It is between the late 19th and early 20th century that the numbers of women who were expressing interest in the political matters started joining the national organization in large numbers. The increased membership of women led to the formation of some movements such as National American Woman Suffrage Association, National Association of Colored Women and another movement that was opposed to Suffrage Association. The membership of these women movements was universal and cut across all social divides such that members were drawn from different social classes, races, and originalities (Rothbard 252). The fact the membership of the organization was not biased in any way led to the participation of both the whites and blacks in the movements who worked together with a common goal to push for the rights of women which they had a strong conviction were being violated if not denied.

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During this time, Woman's Christian Temperance Movement, which pushed for the abolishment of alcohol to make it illegal, was among some of the most popular movements whose struggle bore positive results as alcohol consumption was made illegal in 1919. It is in the progressive era that existed between 1890 and 1920 that saw an increased number of women taking up leadership roles in both political and social movements. The reformers who were who participated in the various movements aimed at ending the political corruption which prominent at this period with the aim of improving the lives of the citizens. The reformers were also interested in keeping the government on toes to make sure that it was committed to protecting the right of its citizens. The suffrage movement was one of the movements that contributed greatly to this struggle that characterized the progressive era and the associated reforms. Jane Adams and Ida B. Wells-Barnett are some of the prominent personalities that existed during the progressive era where they were Jane Adams was involved in educating and providing a range of services to local immigrants while the latter was committed to holding campaigns aimed at opposing the ruthless killing of African American.

It is through the revolution mounted by the various women movements that existed in during the progressive era that made it possible for the society to embrace women leadership, something that was previously neglected by a big number of people. Reformers had a belief that the involvement of women in politics helped to supplement their traditional roles as mothers, caregivers in a family set up. It is during this era that Margaret Sanger came up with an argument that the use of birth control was an excellent way through which the lives of the working class women could be improved. At the same time, Charlotte Hawkins Brown was committed to seeing to it that black children had a chance to access quality education similar to the rights enjoyed by the white children in matters to do with access to quality and affordable education. Florence Kelley was keen to get involved in a struggle that aimed at making sure that the rights of women in the workplace were protected and not violated in any way. Considering that the transformers aimed at ensuring a transition of traditional social roles of women to make them politically effective saw the most of the movements gaining political popularity due to the increased votes from women who were rigid followers of these movements.

Successes and Failures

Despite that the Progressive Era is known to have brought about reforms both to the government and businesses, the white Americans mainly enjoyed most of the attached benefits while other minority groups, including the African Americans, continued to suffer from discrimination and marginalization. Political corruption was among the key issues that reformers were interested in pursuing to create a scenario where the political hacks could be substituted with professional technocrats to head the various political affiliates that existed during this time. The Pendleton Act of 1883 made it possible for the federal employees to be subjected to a merit system to define their working terms which led to the abolishment of the 'spoils system' which had existed for long. The change helped to introduce professionalism in all phases of federal administration which led to a marked decrease of corruption deals and engagements which were perpetrated by some of the political figures who existed before the progressive era.

The progressive era managed to produce positive outcomes in transforming the business processes and making it possible for the ordinary persons to ascend to power, but its exclusive nature is major failure attached to this struggle. The African Americans were greatly segregated in most of the reforms that were being implemented such that only the whites enjoyed the new changes advocated by the various political and social movements that existed (Hobson 18). The segregation created a scenario where the social facilities meant for the African Americans were of lower quality compared to those meant for the whites. The Supreme Court upheld unfortunate laws that allowed for segregation of the minorities in 1896.

Work Cited

Hobson, Jeffery. "Southern Progressivism: The Reconciliation Of Progress And Tradition." Civil War Book Review 19.3 (2017): 4.

Rothbard, Murray N. "World war I as Fulfillment: Power and the intellectuals." The Costs of War. Routledge, 2017. 249-299.

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The Relationship Between Women Suffrage, Prohibition, and Progressivism. (2022, Sep 28). Retrieved from

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