Synopses & Reviews
In 1880, the California woman safeguarded the Republic by maintaining a morally sound home. Scarcely forty years later, women in the Pacific state won full-fledged citizenship and voting rights of their own. Becoming Citizens shows how this enormous transformation came about.
Gayle Gullett demonstrates how women's search for a larger public life in the late nineteenth century led to a flourishing women's movement in California. Women's radical demand for citizenship, however, was rejected by state voters along with the presidential reform candidate William Jennings Bryan in the tumultuous election of 1896.
Gullett shows how women rebuilt the movement in the early years of the twentieth century and forged a critical alliance between activist women and the men involved in the urban Good Government movement. This alliance formed the basis of progressivism, with male Progressives helping to legitimize women's new public work by supporting their civic campaigns, appointing women to public office, and placing a suffrage referendum before the male electorate in 1911.
Addressing local developments in a national context, Becoming Citizens illuminates the links between two major social movements: the western women's suffrage movement and progressivism.
Table of Contents
The politics of women's work: building the California women's movement , 1880-93 -- The politics of politics: the California women's movement emerges and campaigns for women's suffrage, 1893-96 -- The politics of altruism: rebuilding the California women's movement, 1897-1905 -- The politics of good government: the California women's movement helps build progressivism and wins suffrage, 1906-11.