How Women Used the US West to Win the Right to Vote

Rhetoric & Public Affairs

by Tiffany Lewis

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Imprint: Michigan State University Press

320 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in, 41

  • ISBN: 9781611863826
  • Published: February 2021



Other Retailers:

Decades before white women won the right to vote throughout the United States, they first secured that right in its Western region—beginning in Wyoming in 1869. Many scholars have studied why and how the Western states enfranchised women before the Eastern ones; this book instead examines the influence of the West on the national US suffrage movement. As the campaign for woman suffrage intensified, US suffragists often invoked the West in their verbal, visual, and embodied advocacy. In deploying this region as a persuasive resource, they challenged the traditional meanings of the West and East, thus gaining additional persuasive strategies. Tiffany Lewis’s analysis of the public discourse, images, and performances of suffragists and their opponents shows that the West played a pivotal role in the successful campaign for white women’s enfranchisement that culminated in 1920. In addition to offering a history of this political movement’s rhetorical strategy, Lewis illustrates the usefulness of region in protest—the way social movements can tactically employ region to motivate social change.