The Woman Suffrage Movement in Maryland from 1870 to 1920

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1962

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Abstract

A study of woman suffrage movement in Maryland in the period from the Civil War to the First World War reveals not only the stubborn opposition and almost insurmountable difficulties con.fronting the crusaders in this cause, but also the unexpected capacity for organization and the courageous fighting qualities of women in this historic battle. In Maryland's conservative society, the feminist movement was often ridiculed; and it faced repeated disappointments even until the enactment of the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment in 1920. Yet, it seems clear that, throughout the long struggle, the greatest single factor in achieving this major reform in Maryland society was the unquenchable spirit of the women who conducted the suffrage campaign. There were, in fact, many outstanding Maryland feminists during this period who plainly demonstrated the ability and intelligence to analyze and to manage matters of great civic and political importance . Among these, Mrs. Caroline Miller, Mrs. J. William Funck, Mrs. Elizabeth King Ellicott, and Mrs. Donald R. Hooker possibly deserve the highest accolades, although there were also others hardly less worthy of attention. This demonstrated capacity and competence in public affairs of women in Maryland was eventually recognized even after the Maryland State Assembly had finally voted to reject the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment on the grounds of its invasion of the sacred precincts of State Rights. And it is worth notice that while Maryland has not) to this day) seen fit to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment) it has now quite capitulated to the principle of equal rights for women.

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