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Was There A Link Between Women

’s Suffrage And Education In The Early 20Th Century Essay, Research Paper

Was There A Link Between Women s Education and Their Right To Vote?

During the woman’s rights movement one of the major concerns people had

with giving women the vote, was the fear that they had not yet obtained a

sufficient education to make good use of it. Several people thought that they could not make good decisions because of their lack of knowledge that could only be acquired with a “proper” education. Therefore, one of the more important steps for women to climb was to have a large number of them acquire this education to “earn” suffrage. Over the course of the woman’s rights movement, women eventually did climb this and many other steps, with women being admitted to, graduating from, and earning degrees at a large variety of universities. Because of this, women could demonstrate that they had a sufficient education (some had one higher then most men) to be able to make good decisions when they acquired suffrage.

In early civilizations, and for quite a bit after, the only teachers were men. This is probably because women could not get an education themselves (men thought of them as so inferior that they should not learn) and thus had nothing to teach. In ancient Egypt not only were all of the teachers men but the students were all boys. The same was true for all of the other civilizations at the time. During the dark ages the monasteries, the rare sources of knowledge, were for male monks only. Due to an increase in female education by the time the early 1800s rolled around women were teaching in grade schools all over the US and several other countries. At the end of the Civil War, in 1865, thousands of women migrated south to teach at new Freedom Schools. Today, there are even more female teachers then there are male ones. This was caused in part by the ability for women to acquire an education.

Slowly, however, girls started appearing in schools that had started

appearing and by the early 1800s they made up a good part of their class. Now that they had gotten basic education, they could become teachers, which was

considered on of the few jobs fit for women. In the present day the average school class is about half girls and half boys.

The next major step for women was to get into universities so that they

could pursue a more educated and important career. Several women and a few men

founded universities just for women. The first of these was Mount Holyoke

Seminary, which was founded in 1837 by Mary Lyon. The first academic curriculum for women was Troy Female Seminary which was founded on a $4,000 fund from the government in 1921. This was a significant event because this was the first time a women’s school got the same funding the male universities enjoyed. Due to this funding, Troy Female Seminary had many courses that were very comparable to those at many male universities. Other universities, such as Cornell, immediately opened to women when they opened. Still others had a special laboratory just for women. Slowly, over the course of the suffrage movement, more and more women attended universities, graduated, and earned degrees. This enabled them to make a huge impact in the labor force.

Around the time of Seneca Falls, women worked as teachers, maids,

assembly line workers, and other lower class blue-collared jobs, with the exception of teaching. However, as more and more women graduated from universities with high honors, women were found exercising a huge variety of their new employment options. Women opened their own shops. Others started their own companies. Still others made huge advances in math and science. Women became, for the first time, an important part of the labor force as well as the brains behind things.

In conclusion, women were becoming more important due to education.

Because they played such a role in the work force they deserved suffrage. Also, by the early 1900s, they had a sufficient education to be able to make good decisions. Thus, education played a critical role in the effort for women to acquire suffrage.