From Ridicule to Referendum
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the woman suffrage movement in New York. Across the seven decades between 1846, when a few Jefferson County women publicly claimed the right to vote, and the passage of the New York State referendum in 1917, thousands of women—and some resolute men—engaged in the irrepressible fight for woman suffrage. The movement crossed class, race, ethnic, gender, and religious boundaries during periods of great upheaval in the United States. At the same time, the movement itself caused social and political turmoil. Three generations of New York State women fought a complicated, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding battle to obtain the right to vote. In the process, women opened for themselves new opportunities in the social and political spheres.
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