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Eleanor (1996) has pointed out that the women’s right to vote was one of the key issues covered under the women's suffrage movement and it refers to the economic and political reform movement that was aimed at the right to vote for women. Blackburn (1 April 1999) argues that the manufacturing industry opposed women’s suffrage because they knew if the rights were granted, women would prohibit child labor, women slavery, and sweat shops.
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Class Division - society women were big anti-suffrage lobbyists. The need to go state to state for the right to be granted made it hard; Civil War and World War I- everything was put on hold during the civil war and torn between loyalty and vote.
The reasons as for the delay:
It was presumed that women voters would have a civilizing effect on politics and would tend to support controls on alcohol and this would have a telling effect on the alcohol industry and bring in temperance. Alcohol was widely regarded as one of the factors for breakdown of families. In addition to branded products, there were thousands of illegal distilleries which contributed to drunkenness among men and putting families in dire financial position. It was felt that women would first target the alcohol industry (Eleanor, 1996).
Industrial revolution had set in and women and children were made to work very hard, without sufficient wages and exploitive conditions. It was felt that women would vote for more benefits for women and children and this would hurt manufacturing (Eleanor, 1996).
It was believed that many women were against slavery and that if they were allowed to vote, they would pass laws that would ban slavery. Slavery was one of the mainstays of the economy and slave labor helped US and other colonies to grow. It was felt that if women were allowed to vote then they would abolish slavery (Eleanor, 1996).
It was felt that women would become more independent and influential and thus upset the intention of the white male fathers and brothers who wished to dominate them. Women were not regarded of as very highly in those days and men felt that women should not be allowed to vote or have a say in the politics (Eleanor, 1996).
It was also felt that if women were given the right to vote, they would stop the practice of polygamy where men were allowed to marry more than once, often deserting their previous wives.
Race- if women got the right to vote, black women would too. White males had a disregard for both white and black females and believed that white females would side with the blacks Blackburn (1 April 1999).
Allison (1997) has pointed out that The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) had many detractors who were bent on ensuring that the amendment would not be passed. In the early 1920,t The National Women's Party placed the ERA in front of Congress where Senator Charles Curtis and Rep. Daniel R. Anthony introduced it for the first time. Donald (2005) has pointed out that though the ERA was introduced in every session of Congress between 1923 and 1970, it was always diverted into some form of committee or the other who sat on the bill for a few decade. The ERA was strongly opposed by the American Federation of Labor and other labor unions as well as by Eleanor
Roosevelt and most New Dealers, who contended that women needed government help and should not be forced into the workplace to compete with men. The main reasons and factors are (Donald, 2005):
The paper has discussed the issues and progress of Women’s right to Vote and also discussed why the Equal Rights Amendment bill was delayed for a few decades.
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