Progress of Women After 25 Years of Right to Vote Term Paper

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¶ … Progress of Women after 25 years of right to vote...

When and why has the government promoted, and denied, freedom?

Freedom isn't always "free," as some Americans have found out over the period of the last two-hundred thirty years or so. There is a price to be paid for freedom, even in the "land of the free." At numerous moments in this nation's history, the government has promoted freedom for people at home: namely, in the writing of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights; through the waging - and winning - of the Revolutionary War against England; through the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965), among other events and decisions. On the other hand, for various reasons, at various times, the federal government has denied ordinary citizen rights and constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms. This paper looks at those issues in the readings that denied freedoms, and caused unconscionable hardship and unfairness in some cases.

Women's Suffrage

Granted, let it be noted at the outset of this portion of the paper, that just because women were not granted the right to vote by the federal government until 1920, that doesn't mean they were not "free" Americans. They were free to do many other things that democracy "guarantees" but they could not participate in the most important, most sacred act in a democratic country; and that is choosing the leaders who make law and policy; making one's voice heard at the ballot box. Denying women the right to vote for 144 years, when they were as intelligent as men, as able to read and write and make decisions, was denying the feminine gender its full constitutional rights.

In 1848, at Seneca Falls, New York, a "Declaration of Sentiments" was drafted by a women's rights convention; the declaration was patterned after the "Bill of Rights" to the U.S. Constitution, but it was, according to Chapter 15, greeted with "ridicule." And the federal government was not an ally to women on this issue in 1848; the issue of slavery, and state's rights were much more pressing matters to the legislators and executives in Washington D.C., than giving women the right to vote.

In order to get public support for their goal of voting suffrage, the Women's Suffrage movement held a huge march and rally in Washington D.C., on March 3 and 4, 1913, during presidential inauguration ceremonies, as reported by the Washington Post: "Beautiful women, posing in classic robes, passed in bewildering array, presenting an irresistible appeal to the artistic, and completely captivating the hundreds of thousands of spectators who struggled for a view along the entire route." The women were not trying to present an "irresistible appeal to the artistic"; they were trying to persuade enough elected officials to turn a deaf ear to chauvinists like Senator Joseph W. Bailey, who made the following remarks on January 7, 1918:

I am opposed to women voting anywhere except in their own societies...The two most important person duties of citizenship are military service and the sheriff's service, neither of which is a woman capable of performing..." he said.

The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC)

Another example, a more dramatic example (which was concentrated into a short period of time), of the government denying freedom to citizens was the series of investigations conducted by HUAC (also known as the "red scare"). This period in U.S. history (1947) was very tense; it was right after WWII, and anyone who was (or had been) part of a left-learning organization, was under suspicion of being a "communist" or a "communist-sympathizer."

And, on page 286 of Chapter 9, it is reported that in a time when "accusations could cost people their jobs, ruin careers, or alienate friends," the "collective mentality" generally went along with "extreme patriotism." And so what was denied was freedom from an invasion of one's privacy, freedom from accusation without evidence, from prosecution without a fair trial (these were not trials, but once a "witness" was labeled unfriendly, and refused to cooperate, the assumption was that he or she was "guilty" as charges; it was a witch hunt in the truest sense). "Everyone - from businesspeople to actors, actresses, and writers - were… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Progress of Women After 25 Years of Right to Vote.  (2005, March 15).  Retrieved January 20, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/progress-women-25-years-right-vote/30697

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"Progress of Women After 25 Years of Right to Vote."  Essaytown.com.  March 15, 2005.  Accessed January 20, 2020.
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