Browse Social Movements

Displaying 1 - 25 of 101
Name Description Founding year Related works
National League of Women Voters The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a United States nonpartisan organization that formed out of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1920. In addition to a domestic focus on voter education, t... The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a United States nonpartisan organization that formed out of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1920. In addition to a domestic focus on voter education, the LWV developed international committees to address foreign affairs. In its early years, the LWV established the Department of International Cooperation to Prevent War, which focused on peace work. In 1947 it set up the Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Fund to provide civic education to women whose countries were transitioning to democratic governments. The name of the Memorial Fund changed to the Overseas Education Fund (OEF) in 1961 and OEF International in 1986. This digital archive includes selected international material from the Department of International Cooperation in the 1920s and 1930s and OEF International material from the 1940s to the 1990s. Show more Show less 1919 647
Woman Suffrage Movement Between 1848, when the woman suffrage movement was launched, and 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote, the movement mobilized 480 campaigns in state legislatures, 277 campaigns in state c... Between 1848, when the woman suffrage movement was launched, and 1920, when the Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote, the movement mobilized 480 campaigns in state legislatures, 277 campaigns in state conventions, and 19 campaigns in 19 successive congresses in addition to the ratification campaign of 1919-1920. Suffrage became the major vehicle for the advancement of women in American society more generally in this period. Show more Show less 1848 110
National Association of Colored Women In the 1890s amid increasing racial tensions a national club movement emerged among black women that led to the formation of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) in Washington, D.C. in 1896. The first pr... In the 1890s amid increasing racial tensions a national club movement emerged among black women that led to the formation of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) in Washington, D.C. in 1896. The first president of the NACW was Mary Church Terrell. "Lifting As We Climb" became the Association's motto, and members coordinated their efforts to improve the condition of African Americans in the United States. In 1915 more than 100,000 women were NACW members. The NACW is still active today working toward improving the lives of African American women and children. Show more Show less 1896 65
Temperance Movement The movement to limit the consumption of alcohol began around 1800, when alcohol consumption was at an all-time high in the United States. Sobriety became a value associated with modernizing trends that included sel... The movement to limit the consumption of alcohol began around 1800, when alcohol consumption was at an all-time high in the United States. Sobriety became a value associated with modernizing trends that included self control and individualism, and was supported by working-class as well as middle-class Protestants. Dominated by men before 1860, the temperance movement nevertheless offered women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton a forum where they developed public speaking skills. In the depression winter of 1873-74, the women’s temperance movement exploded in Ohio with public demonstrations in which women protested the effects of men’s alchohol consumption on women and families. Organized by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), the women’s temperance movement worked closely with the woman suffrage movement and became the most important vehicle for the participation of both black and white women in public life between 1873 and 1900. Although WCTU membership remained high and their international efforts were notable after 1900, other women’s organizations emerged to shape women’s activism in the decades before 1920. The passage of the prohibition amendment to the U.S. constitution in 1919 was largely due to the efforts of men in the anti-saloon league, a much more conservative organization than the WCTU. Show more Show less 1800 65
Woman's Christian Temperance Union Founded in 1873, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union quickly became the largest voluntary association in the United States. Working closely with the much-smaller woman suffrage movement, the WCTU endorsed woman... Founded in 1873, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union quickly became the largest voluntary association in the United States. Working closely with the much-smaller woman suffrage movement, the WCTU endorsed woman suffrage in 1881, by which time it had become the most important vehicle for women’s participation in public life. Key to the WCTU’s prominence was Frances Willard’s leadership and her "Do Everything" policy, which enabled the Union to support a wide range of reform activities other than temperance, including prison reform, child welfare, women's employment, work among African Americans, public health, and woman suffrage. Show more Show less 1873 62
Woman's Rights Convention Movement, 1848-1869 After the first woman’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, the movement for women's rights accelerated. In 1850 the first National Woman's Rights Convention was held in Worcester, Massachusetts and similar... After the first woman’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, the movement for women's rights accelerated. In 1850 the first National Woman's Rights Convention was held in Worcester, Massachusetts and similar conventions were soon held all over the United States continuing throughout the decade. At these conventions male abolitionist leaders, including Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Parker and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, supported the movement while Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Stanton, the two women considered the organizers of the Seneca Falls convention, spoke at and attended many of these subsequent meetings. Show more Show less 1848 51
Anti-Slavery Movement From the second decade of the nineteenth century until the abolition of black slavery in the United States in the 1860s, black and white women were significant actors in the anti-slavery movement. Women helped found... From the second decade of the nineteenth century until the abolition of black slavery in the United States in the 1860s, black and white women were significant actors in the anti-slavery movement. Women helped found the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) in 1833 as well as their own societies, such as the Oberlin Female Anti-Slavery Society. The status of women in the movement was often contentious and in 1839 the AASS divided in part because of the election of a woman, Abby Kelley Foster, to its business committee. The anti-slavery movement provided the setting for the emergence of the women’s rights movement as women abolitionists created new public spaces for themselves as public speakers. Notable women abolitionists include Lucretia Mott, Sarah and Angela Grimké, Abby Kelley Foster, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Show more Show less 1820 47
Young Women's Christian Association of the United States of America During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), named after a similar men’s organization, was organized largely by middle-class white women in cities around the nati... During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), named after a similar men’s organization, was organized largely by middle-class white women in cities around the nation who built Association boarding houses, training schools, and day nurseries to protect and provide services for single women in cities. In more recent decades the YWCA has continued a wide range of activities including shelter for women and children and support for women’s reproductive rights. Show more Show less 1858 30
Civil Rights Movement The struggle for full citizenship rights began during Reconstruction following the Civil War, but most scholars associate the origin of the modern Civil Rights Movement with the founding of the National Association... The struggle for full citizenship rights began during Reconstruction following the Civil War, but most scholars associate the origin of the modern Civil Rights Movement with the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. African-American and white women were active in the early years of the NAACP and in successive efforts to end segregation in public transportation, public accommodations, and education. Voting rights were important during Reconstruction and then once again beginning in the 1960s. Show more Show less 1909 25
Women's Labor Movement, 19th and 20th Centuries Working women first organized to strike and defend their interests in the cotton textile mills of New England in the 1830s and 40s. Women shoeworkers were prominent in the 1860 New England shoe strike as well. Women... Working women first organized to strike and defend their interests in the cotton textile mills of New England in the 1830s and 40s. Women shoeworkers were prominent in the 1860 New England shoe strike as well. Women’s factory employment expanded in the twentieth century and women participated in the 1909 New York City shirtwaist strike and the 1912 strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Women’s labor force participation expanded dramatically after World War II and women became increasingly active in labor unions, as exemplified by the creation of the Coalition of Labor Union Women in 1974. Show more Show less 1830 23
General Federation of Women's Clubs Founded in 1890 by Jane Cunningham Croly, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs became one of the largest women’s organizations in the country. As President in the 1890s, Ellen Herotin developed the Federation... Founded in 1890 by Jane Cunningham Croly, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs became one of the largest women’s organizations in the country. As President in the 1890s, Ellen Herotin developed the Federation’s political and social interests. Members worked for a variety of social reforms that would benefit women and children. In 1955 membership peaked at 830,000. The Federation continues to be a significant voluntary organization today. Show more Show less 1890 22
National American Woman Suffrage Association In 1890 the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, joined Lucy Stone’s American Woman’s Suffrage Association (AWSA) to form the National American Woman Su... In 1890 the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, joined Lucy Stone’s American Woman’s Suffrage Association (AWSA) to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The suffrage movement had split in 1869 over the issue of black male suffrage in the Fifteenth Amendment. From 1890 to 1920 when woman suffrage was finally added to the U.S. Constitution, NAWSA was the dominant national suffrage organization. Show more Show less 1890 22
Women's Rights within the Anti-Slavery Movement Historians have traditionally dated the beginning of the women’s rights movement to the 1840 London World Anti-Slavery Convention, where Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton first formulated the idea for a wom... Historians have traditionally dated the beginning of the women’s rights movement to the 1840 London World Anti-Slavery Convention, where Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton first formulated the idea for a woman’s rights convention. But the connections between anti-slavery and women’s rights flourished even before this meeting through the activism of Lucretia Mott, and Angelina and Sarah Grimke, leading anti-slavery advocates. Mott’s interest in women’s rights also predated her involvement in the anti-slavery movement, as she committed herself to women’s emancipation early on in her public career as a Quaker minister and reformer. Show more Show less 1830 22
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People In 1909 W.E.B. Du Bois, other participants in the Niagara Movement, women activists including Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and other African-American critics of Booker T. Washington united with whit... In 1909 W.E.B. Du Bois, other participants in the Niagara Movement, women activists including Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and other African-American critics of Booker T. Washington united with white supporters to form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Still an important representative of African American interests, the NAACP has a long history of defending and expanding black civil rights. Show more Show less 1909 20
National Woman's Party, US In 1916 Alice Paul, founder of the militant suffragist organization, the Congressional Union of Woman Suffrage (CUWS), mobilized her supporters to launch the National Woman's Party (NWP). The NWP used civil disobedi... In 1916 Alice Paul, founder of the militant suffragist organization, the Congressional Union of Woman Suffrage (CUWS), mobilized her supporters to launch the National Woman's Party (NWP). The NWP used civil disobedience tactics to promote the passage of the woman suffrage amendment. Paul’s strategies contributed to the passage of the federal Suffrage Amendment in 1919 and its ratification in 1920. After 1920 the NWP turned its attention to the passage of an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Show more Show less 1916 20
Equal Rights Amendment Movement After the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party conceived of a plan for a new amendment to promote equal rights for women more generally. Written in 1921, and first... After the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party conceived of a plan for a new amendment to promote equal rights for women more generally. Written in 1921, and first introduced into Congress in 1923, it finally passed the House and Senate in 1972. Professional women’s organizations predominated in the early movement as women’s labor interests opposed the ERA until the 1960s, viewing it as a threat to protective legislation for women. By the 1970s a broader coalition of women’s groups came to support the ERA in the changed economic and social climate. Show more Show less 1920 17
International Women's Peace Movement From 1915 onwards women reformers, led by Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch, promoted disarmament and world peace through organizations like the United States Women’s Peace Party (1915-1919), and the Women’s In... From 1915 onwards women reformers, led by Jane Addams and Emily Greene Balch, promoted disarmament and world peace through organizations like the United States Women’s Peace Party (1915-1919), and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (1919-). Show more Show less 1915 17
National Organization for Women The National Organization for Women was formed in 1966 by a group of women frustrated with the failure of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition of sex discr... The National Organization for Women was formed in 1966 by a group of women frustrated with the failure of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition of sex discrimination. NOW was broadly conceived as a feminist organization dedicated to addressing sex and gender discrimination. Through lobbying, legal action, picketing, demonstrations, and marches, NOW supported a variety of causes, including the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, the repeal of restrictive abortion laws, publicly funded child care, the end of sex discrimination in employment, equal treatment of women and men in public accommodations, and lesbian rights. Show more Show less 1966 17
Religious Society of Friends 1652 17
United States. Children's Bureau The United States Children’s Bureau of the Department of Labor, a federal agency dedicated to monitoring and improving the lives of the nation’s children, was created in response to the urging of women reformers... The United States Children’s Bureau of the Department of Labor, a federal agency dedicated to monitoring and improving the lives of the nation’s children, was created in response to the urging of women reformers in 1912. Julia Lathrop, the first director, was followed by Grace Abbott in 1920. Bypassing male-dominated organizations such as the U.S. Public Health Service, the U.S. Children’s Bureau was the first governmental agency in the western world that was headed by women for women. Show more Show less 1912 17
Tuskegee Institute Founded in 1881, Tuskegee Institute is today Tuskegee University. Booker T. Washington, the Institute’s first president from 1881 until his death in 1915, exercised unprecedented power among African Americans part... Founded in 1881, Tuskegee Institute is today Tuskegee University. Booker T. Washington, the Institute’s first president from 1881 until his death in 1915, exercised unprecedented power among African Americans partly because his plan for black economic improvement without political rights was well funded by wealthy white donors. Called the "Atlanta Compromise," the plan emerged in 1895, stressing the need for practical, industrial training, such as that supplied by Tuskegee Institute, and minimizing the need for black political rights. Show more Show less 1881 15
American Woman Suffrage Association This wing of the woman suffrage movement was formed by New England women opposed to the policies of Stanton and Anthony. Led by Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe, the Association worked for the passage of the Fifteenth... This wing of the woman suffrage movement was formed by New England women opposed to the policies of Stanton and Anthony. Led by Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe, the Association worked for the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and aligned itself closely with the Republican party. The American and the National Woman Suffrage Association (see below) merged in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (see entry below). Show more Show less 1869 10
Feminism, 1960s- Feminism, dedicated to greater equality between men and women, reemerged as a central feature of public life in the 1960s, partly inspired by the burgeoning social movements of that decade: the New Left, the civil... Feminism, dedicated to greater equality between men and women, reemerged as a central feature of public life in the 1960s, partly inspired by the burgeoning social movements of that decade: the New Left, the civil rights movement, opposition to the war in Vietnam, and gay rights. Feminist organizations were numerous and diverse, often competing with one another, and promoted a multitude of social and political issues, including the enforcement of Title VII in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibited sex discrimination in employment; access to birth control and abortion; the elimination of pornography and domestic violence, the rights of women of color and lesbian rights. Though challenged by the rise of conservatism in the 1970s, feminist values and ideas changed American life in the last third of the twentieth century and the movement continues as a vital force in the twenty-first century. Show more Show less 1960 10
Hull House Hull House, founded in Chicago in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr, grew into the leading social settlement in the United States. Hull House residents provided space and resources for health, education, rec... Hull House, founded in Chicago in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr, grew into the leading social settlement in the United States. Hull House residents provided space and resources for health, education, recreation, and the exercise of citizenship rights in their poor, immigrant neighborhood. By 1910 more than 400 social settlements, staffed largely by college-educated women, were established in poor neighborhoods in American cities. Show more Show less 1889 10
National Woman Suffrage Association Founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony after the demise of the American Equal Rights Association, this woman suffrage organization supported a wide range of women's rights issues. Led by an all-women... Founded by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony after the demise of the American Equal Rights Association, this woman suffrage organization supported a wide range of women's rights issues. Led by an all-women slate of officers, the Association promoted a conscious strategy of organizing women independently of male-dominated political parties. Competition between the National and the American Woman Suffrage Association (see above) divided the woman suffrage movement until the two organizations merged in 1890. Show more Show less 1869 10

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