Women's Suffrage in the United States


photo courtesy Library of Congress


It all began in 1848, at a women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York.  No one knew that a small gathering would have such a large impact on the world and on the future of women's lives.  The women's rights movement was one that spanned over the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century.  Woman's suffrage organizations were well-known and gained membership at full speed. 

In the woman's suffrage movement, music also played a large role.  Whether it was the opinions that were expressed in the lyrics or the advertising that the sheet music publishers took part in through cover art work, music had an influential role on the time period. 

On this site you will find three papers as written for FSP 121016: Changing the World, One Song at a Time: Social Movements and Music.  As a student in this class I took part in studying various social movements throughout the world and how music impacted these movements.  I researched my own topic of my choosing and wrote papers on the history of this movement, studied the collective identity shown throughout the movement, and chose a song to analyze in relation to the movement.

Below you will also find a list of references that I found very useful in my research. 


A history of the woman's suffrage movement

Music and collective identity within the movement

Analysis:  "Oh, Dear, What Can the Matter Be?"



Useful References

Cheng, Eileen K., Ph. D., ed.  2002.  Encyclopedia of Women in American History.  Vol 2.  Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Cooney, Robert P.J. Jr.  2005.  Winning the Vote.  Santa Cruz, CA: American Graphic Press.

Gribi, Gerri.  "Women's Equality Day."  Retrieved October 1, 2006. (http://creativefolk.com/equalityday.html#music)

Graham, Sara Hunter.  1996.  Woman Suffrage and the New Democracy.  New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press.

Kraditor, Aileen S.  1965.  The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement, 1890-1920.  New York, New York: Columbia University Press.

The Library of Congress.  2002.  “Collection – Music for the Nation, 1870-1885.”  The Library of Congress, Retrieved November 20, 2006.


Silber, Irwin.  1958.  A Brief History of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement.  FOLKWAYS RECORDS Album No. FH 5281.



Truc-Lan Vu  |  FSP121: Changing the World, One Song at A Time  | Dr. Elizabeth Borland

Published December 15 2006