Middle-class clubwomen and settlement workers organized to address issues of education, healthcare, and political corruption. Working women organized on their own and in partnership with middle-class women to raise wages and improve working conditions. African American women organized to combat racism and provide mutual support. Together, their efforts led to real improvements in the lives of many Americans.
Officers of the striking Shirt Waist Makers' Union are anxious to obtain a judicial interpretation of the rights of pickets. Several recent clashes between representatives of the union and the police have led to this desire.
On November 23, 1909, more than twenty thousand Yiddish-speaking immigrants, mostly young women in their teens and early twenties, launched an eleven-week general strike in New York’s shirtwaist industry.
Women working in factories often faced terrible working conditions and low wages. During the Progressive Era, working-class women, alone and in concert with middle-class women, fought to raise wages and improve working conditions.
In 1890, after 21 years of disunity, the women's movement was reunited, when the Boston-based American Woman Suffrage Association merged with the New York-led National Woman Suffrage Association. The new organization, named the National American Woman Suffrage Association, elected as its officers Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Alice Stone Blackwell, Stone's daughter. Their unification was essential to the progress of winning the vote for women.
In the 20th century leadership of the suffrage movement passed to two organizations. The first, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The second group, the National Woman’s Party (NWP), under the leadership of Alice Paul, was a more militant organization.
A combative and outspoken leader in the women's suffrage movement, Alice Paul broke away from the National American Woman Suffrage Association to form the more radical National Woman's Party. She clashed with Woodrow Wilson, who was affronted by Paul's "unladylike" tactics, including her protests outside the White House.
In 1913, the first major national efforts were undertaken, beginning with a massive parade in Washington, D.C., on March 3 -- one day before the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. Organized by Alice Paul for the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the parade, calling for a constitutional amendment, featured 8,000 marchers, including nine bands, four mounted brigades, 20 floats, and an allegorical performance near the Treasury Building.
Suggested people to profile, Frances Perkins, Clara Lemlich, Pauline Newman, Anne Morgan
Clara Lemlich, a 23-year-old Ukrainian immigrant, Clara Lemlich
Cornell Kheel Center
rose to a position of power in the women's labor movement, becoming the voice that incited the famous Uprising of the Twenty Thousand in 1909
As an adult, Morgan used her family's wealth and connections to bring attention to the women's suffrage movement and the plight of lower class immigrant workers. Her efforts helped advance women's rights and change labor laws.
While visiting a friend in the lower Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village on March 25, 1911, Perkins witnessed a devastating fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a sweatshop employing numerous immigrant women. Perkins watched in horror as flammable fabrics and solvents turned the building into an inferno, and dozens of young women, locked in their workplace on the ninth floor, died in the fire or from jumping from windows to escape it. Many labor activists were outraged by the tragedy and the employer attitudes it represented.
Mr. Smith was a Tammany Hall stalwart and, to give credit where it is due, elevating worker safety to the state agenda would have required the approval of the local Democratic leader, Timothy D. Sullivan, known as Big Tim, and Charles F. Murphy, the visionary boss of Tammany Hall, who valued the lives of their constituents as well as their votes.