Becoming Citizens

Becoming Citizens : The Emergence and Development of the California Women's Movement, 1880-1911

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'In 1880, the California woman safeguarded the Republic by maintaining a morally sound home. Scarcely forty years later, women in the Pacific state won full-fledged citizenship and voting rights of their own. "Becoming Citizens" shows how this enormous transformation came about. Gayle Gullett demonstrates how women's search for a larger public life in the late nineteenth century led to a flourishing women's movement in California. Women's radical demand for citizenship, however, was rejected by state voters along with the presidential reform candidate, William Jennings Bryan, in the tumultuous election year of 1896'.'Gullett shows how women rebuilt the movement in the early years of the twentieth century and forged a critical alliance between activist women and the men involved in the urban Good Government movement. This alliance formed the basis of progressivism, with male Progressives helping to legitimize women's new public work by supporting their civic campaigns, appointing women to public office, and placing a suffrage referendum before the male electorate in 1911.
Placing local developments in a national context, "Becoming Citizens" illuminates the links between these two major social movements: the western women's suffrage movement and progressivism'.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 152 x 224 x 22mm | 480.81g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252068181
  • 9780252068188
  • 2,185,016

Review quote

"Reflects an enormous amount of research and makes new and important contributions to our understanding of the development of the women's movement and progressivism in California. This book provides an essential source for a new synthesis regarding women's activism and social reform in California during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." -- Sherry J. Katz, H-California (H-Net Reviews) "This history of a state campaign for woman suffrage is distinguished by its focus on the forming of a 'movement.' ... From the 'organized womanhood' of the 1870s and 1880s to the 'civic altruism' of the years after 1900, California activists invented political roles for themselves emphasizing the 'pure' moral authority, nonpartisan public spirit, and fresh perspective that they could offer as women; at the same time, they proclaimed their rights to freedom to act, justice under the law, and fair economic opportunities." -- New Mexico Historical Review "A significant contribution to the picture of the development of the public life of American women. [Gullett] splendidly portrays the processes by which a particular group of women learned to act in public by interacting with other public actors, formulating and reformulating their agenda on the basis of their public experiences, but always from their perspective and experiences as women." -- Maureen A. Flanagan, Journal of American History ADVANCE PRAISE "Gullett's innovative framework of concentrating on women's activism as a movement ... not only succeeds here but may be a prototype for many studies still to be written in women's political history."-Melanie Gustafson, editor of We Have Come to Stay: American Women and Political Parties, 1880-1960
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