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Secondary

Imagery and Strategies Used in the Women’s Suffrage Movement: Developing a Get-Out-the-Vote Campaign

Recommended Instructional Time: 1-3 class sessions Recommended Grade Level(s): 11th Grade

Lesson Overview

Students will analyze primary source documents from the women’s suffrage movement–both nationally and in Utah–to examine the tactics, strategies, and imagery used in this social movement. They will also evaluate the effectiveness of these tactics and strategies in affecting social and civic change. As an optional step, students will use this information as the means to creating their own campaigns to encourage Utahns to register to vote and cast votes.

Historical Background for Educators

Key Utah State Standards Addressed

Learning Objectives

Guiding Questions

  • How are similar tactics used across social movements? What tactics tend to be the most effective in effecting change?
  • How did the women’s suffrage organizations use tactics to persuade people to their cause?
  • How do more moderate groups doing x benefit from more radical groups doing y? And vice versa?
  • How have today’s social and political reforms been affected by those that took place from the 1880s to the 1920s? How are these past arguments reflected in women’s issues today?
  • How did race play a role in the women’s suffrage movement? How did this impact the effectiveness of the 19th Amendment in granting all women voting rights in the U.S.?
  • How do race, gender, and class intersect in social movements?

Vocabulary

amendment

(noun) a change in the words or meaning of a law or document (such as a constitution)

The 19th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution grants women voting rights.

ballot

(noun) a ticket or piece of paper used to vote

Seraph Young was the first woman in the modern United States to cast a ballot in an election.

campaign

(noun) a series of events designed to influence voters in an election

Suffragists like Susan B. Anthony led the campaign for women’s voting rights.

(verb) to take part in a series of events to influence voters

Suffragists campaigned for women’s voting rights.

delegate

(noun) a representative who votes on behalf of others

Susa Young Gates was one of many delegates representing the women of Utah at national suffrage conventions.

enfranchisement

(noun) To give someone the right to vote

Emmeline B. Wells was a Utah leader involved in the enfranchisement of women.

lobby

(verb): to try to influence government officials to make decisions for or against something.

Anti-polygamists lobbied Congress to make polygamy illegal.

moderates

(noun) People who are assumed to “listen to reason;” committed to “friendly persuasion;” push social norms a little, but still within levels of respectability.

Carrie Chapman Catt was a leading suffragist who was considered more moderate; she favored continuing to use tactics that had been used during previous decades and keep herself in the good favor of male leaders.

radicals

(noun) People who express greater degrees of dissatisfaction than moderates; they tend to be more “combative” and push more against social norms and ideas; more extreme.

Radicals tend to make moderates look more conservative or acceptable.

 

Alice Paul was considered radical because of her White House protests.

ratify

(verb) to make official by voting for and signing (a constitutional amendment)

In August 1920, the 19th Amendment granting women’s voting rights was ratified by three-fourths of the states.

suffrage

(noun) The right to vote in a political election

During the women’s suffrage movement, women fought for and won the right to vote in political elections.

suffragist

(noun) a person who worked to get voting rights for women

Suffragists fought for women’s voting rights.

Materials Needed

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