Alice Paul, the National Woman’s Party and the Vote

The First Civil Rights Struggle of the 20th Century

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About the Book

When women picketed the White House demanding the vote on January 10, 1917, they broke new ground in political activism. Demanding that President Wilson influence Congress, they marched in the streets in the nation’s first ever coast-to-coast campaign for political rights. Women were imprisoned for peaceful protests, went on hunger strikes and were beaten and tortured by authorities. But they won the 19th Amendment, ensuring that the right to vote could not be denied because of gender. Their successful nonviolent civil rights campaign established a precedent for those that followed, giving them the tools—including the vote—needed to advance their goals. This book chronicles the work of Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party and their influence on American political activism.

About the Author(s)

Bernadette Cahill is an independent scholar and writer. She has written about women’s rights and history throughout her professional life and has had many articles published on woman suffrage and the Equal Rights Amendment. She divides her time between Louisiana and North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Bernadette Cahill
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6979-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1978-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 3

1. What Alice Paul Did for Suffrage Between 1912 and 1920 9

2. What the Suffragists’ Victory Meant 48

3. How the Vote Was Won 53

4. Where Paul Fits into Suffrage History 66

5. Imagination, Creativity and Nonviolence 79

6. When the Right to Vote Is Not the Right to Vote 93

7. Equal Suffrage and Equal Rights 104

8. The Unfinished Business of the Civil War 118

9. Intended Consequences 128

10. Woman Suffrage and Civil Rights 137

11. The ­Long-Term Influence of Paul’s Campaign 144

12. Civil Rights ­Cross-Pollination 148

13. The Inequalities of Inequalities 153

14. Woman Suffrage and the Prioritization of Inequalities 162

15. Neglected Civil Rights Sites in Washington, D.C. 175

Chapter Notes 189

Bibliography 205

Index 215

Book Reviews & Awards

“Cahill’s arguments about the effects of woman’s suffrage on the black civil rights movement are innovative. Recommended”—Choice.