Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2226742
 


 



Sisterhood of Struggle: Leadership and Strategy in the Campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment


Lynda G. Dodd


The City University of New York (CUNY) - City College

February 28, 2013

Feminist Legal History, Tracey A. Thomas & Tracey Jean Boisseau eds., NYU Press, 2011

Abstract:     
This chapter examines the role of Alice Paul's leadership in securing passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. Recent scholarship on popular constitutionalism reminds us that constitutional history encompasses more than the work of litigators and judges; it also addresses movements for social and political reforms, including constitutional amendments. To achieve success, reformers must consider opportunities and constraints posed by the broader social and political context, make use of available resources, and devise appropriate tactics. All these strategic choices depend upon effective leaders and organizations. When the twenty-eight-year-old Paul assumed the leadership of the militant suffrage campaign, she sought to establish her place among an older generation of remarkable female reformers and activitists: Jane Addams, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Carrie Chapman Catt, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Florence Kelley, Mary Church Terell, Lillian Wald, among many others. Historians like Anne Firor Scott have called attention to the "extraordinary efflorescence of female leadership" in this era, and a rich literature in women's history has examined these leaders' lives and legacies. Paul's work in the militant suffrage campaign is one of the most notable examples of successful leadership in the "age of reform," and yet her role has never received similarly sustained appraisals.

This chapter focuses, in particular, on two important features of her strategy: her use of a passionate politics relying on emotional appeals for recruitment, mobilization, persuasion, and contention; and her commitment to unruly defiance, through the party accountability campaigns and wartime acts of civil disobedience. Rather than simply describe these tactics and their results, this chapter instead draws on recent scholarship examining the role of leadership style and organizational form in social movements — what one scholar has called "strategic capacity" — in order to explore how these strategies were chosen and implemented, and to assess the strengths and weaknesses of Paul's approach.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: legal history, social movements, Nineteenth Amendment

JEL Classification: K39

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: February 28, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Dodd, Lynda G., Sisterhood of Struggle: Leadership and Strategy in the Campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment (February 28, 2013). Feminist Legal History, Tracey A. Thomas & Tracey Jean Boisseau eds., NYU Press, 2011 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2226742

Contact Information

Lynda G. Dodd (Contact Author)
The City University of New York (CUNY) - City College ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 106
Downloads: 42

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.297 seconds