This paper provides answers to a range of questions based on the historical material delivered by professors Kuhlman, Woodworth-Ney, and Foner.
If to analyze both lectures, a few similarities and many more differences can be found between the historical perspectives of the two professors: Prof.Kuhlman and Prof.Woodworth-Ney. First of all, neither of the two thinks there was a specific global pattern as for granting suffrage to women, i.e. they said that no common pattern across different nations can be identified. Still, here arises the major difference in the professors’ stands: Woodworth-Ney evidently recognizes the existence of a particular suffrage pattern, namely the one that had emerged in the west of the United States. To support her view, Woodworth-Ney provides the examples of a few states, Wyoming among them, where legislators made a decision to grant women suffrage rights earlier than generally. Needless to say, that move was driven by the authority’s pragmatic motive: they actually wanted to considerably increase the number of voters of white race based on the total bigger number of voters. In this sense, Woodworth-Ney has a broader view regarding to the pattern within the states.
Next, these professors differ in their vision of whether suffrage had a role as a way to manifest the political rights of the female population. Prof.Kuhlman thinks that giving women suffrage was necessarily a resolution to the overall political status of American women, while Prof. Woodworth-Ney argues that this move did not actually bring any drastic changes to political rights or change the legal status of American women. As for the factors impacting the growth of the movement at the time, those included renegotiation of the roles of men and women, dreams of peace, operation of different associations of women, along with anti-racial-discrimination social movement, etc..
Besides, it needs to be mentioned that Dr Kuhlman identified one more trend. That was the trend of nationhood which had emerged just along with the repeated attempts of female population to obtain the suffrage right. Because of women’s starting empowerment, the very issue of what made up a single American nation began to be discussed. Additionally, Dr.Kuhlman expressed an idea that this issue, which was important in the past, remains rather important as discussion trend currently. This is explained by the fact that people in the United States have long been made to consider that all of them are sharing a single historic heritage as well as come from one background. However, in the majority of cases it could hardly be thought as true.
Granting suffrage rights to women did not resolve all women’s concerns. Other concerns of the time were, as professors explain it, the need of women to fix their rights in the legislative domain. A range of spheres of possible activity, including courts, public life, education, as well as political life still remained out of the scope of action of any woman.
Having assessed all material, it turns out that the nature of the change (i.e.suffrage granting to women) was evolutionary. Professor Foner provides a persuasive argument to support this view: this is the fact that the women’s movement did not stop at the very moment American women got their rights. Specifically, at the time women went further and started struggling for the right to get the jobs which had previously all been thought as men’s jobs. Another argument in support of the evolutionary view is that the change did not occur overnight: women had long been active in various events, they had gradual achievements, and the movement matured also in a gradual manner. Here it may be added that in American a large number of ladies’ organizations had existed long before the suffrage movement got shaped.
In summary, this paper has identified similar and different points in professors’ perspectives on the issue of granting suffrage to American women. It has also highlighted other concerns and factors that impacted the suffrage movement. Besides, it argued in favor of the evolutionary nature of change.