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Woman Suffrage in the Progressive Era: Patterns of Opposition and Support in Referenda Voting, 1910-1918

Eileen L. McDonagh and H. Douglas Price
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 79, No. 2 (Jun., 1985), pp. 415-435
DOI: 10.2307/1956657
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1956657
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Woman Suffrage in the Progressive Era: Patterns of Opposition and Support in Referenda Voting, 1910-1918
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Abstract

Sources of opposition and support for woman suffrage are analyzed with the use of the responses of male voters to constitutional referenda held in six key states during the Progressive era. Traditional axes of opposition and support for suffrage are examined, establishing that stable sources of suffrage support originate most often from Protestant and northern European constituencies (with the exception of Germans), whereas southern Europeans and Catholics (except for Germans) generally show no consistent patterns. Opposition to suffrage is most constant from Germans--both Catholic and Protestant--and from urban constituencies. A structural model indicating the greater importance of prohibition as an intervening variable compared to partisanship or turnout at the grass-roots level of voting behavior explicates the sources of direct and indirect support for suffrage while it also demonstrates the influence of educational commitment in determining suffrage voting patterns. Except in the West, opposition to suffrage was intense and greater at the grass-roots level than among legislative elites. The ultimate success of the federal amendment is discussed in the context of state referenda, the changed political climate after American entry into World War I, and the innovative efforts of state legislatures to grant @'presidential@' suffrage, thereby circumventing what proved to be the difficult referenda route.

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