Women’s Suffrage Movement

Question : The National American Woman Suffrage Association supported the U.S. decision to enter World War I and publicly encouraged women to support the war effort. Was this a necessary or a contributory cause of the success of the women’s suffrage movement?

For many, it would seem that supporting their country and military would be a necessary cause for achieving women’s suffrage by 1920 (U.S.). However, it was obvious that the NAWSA “was hesitant to publicly support a war effort that could possibly deny women the right to vote”. For example, many suffragists believed “that the war represented a golden opportunity for women to display their patriotism and prove themselves worthy of their right to vote…” Thus, by 1918 the NAWSA had concluded that the war “did not threaten the suffrage but placed an additional burden on women’s shoulders”.

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