A New Century, 1900 - 1920
Mary Dreier, Rheta Childe Dorr, and Leonora O'Reilly are among a group of women that form the Women's Trade Union League of New York. The organization consists middle- and working-class women dedicated to the duel causes of unionization for working women and woman suffrage. This group later became an intregal part of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU).
In 1911 Josephine Dodge organizes the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NAOWS). The organization boasts the membership of wealthy, influential women and some Catholic clergy including the prominent Cardinal Gibbons.
In 1913, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns organize the Congressional Union, later called the National Women's Party after splitting from NAWSA. Using radical tactics Paul and Burns encountered working in England with militant suffragettes, members of the Woman's Party participate in hunger strikes during political imprisonment, picket the White House daily while challenging President Wilson’s rhetoric of “democracy”, and engage in other forms of civil disobedience to further suffrage cause.
Political cartoons highlight tensions and anxiety over white women's access to the vote
Within the Black community, the work of women’s suffrage is done in churches, women’s benefit societies, and organizations such as the NAACP. These groups do not solely focus on the singular issue of suffrage but rather on how to uplift and support the community as a whole. Some organizations are personally supportive of suffrage but worry that female enfranchisement might add political and civil oppressors to the system by doubling the numbers of white voters. White women are often silent when Black suffrage supporters ask them how they will work again racial discrimination and violence. It is important to note that Black women are fighting for both race and gender in regard to racial prejudice and the vote, but white suffrage supporters are often invested in the maintenance of white supremacy and white empowerment.
Montana’s Jeannette Rankin is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.