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Women of 1880s-1920s

The beginning of the twentieth century was a period of dramatic change for women in the West. In the late Victorian period women were constricted by a patriarchal social structure.
But the early twentieth century saw the creation of the Suffragette movement, the catalyst for the rapid social change that occurred over the rest of the century. With career options other than marriage and motherhood opening up to them, women engaged with politics, served in the two world wars, made an impact on the artistic and literary worlds and experienced social and sexual liberation.
Between 1880 and 1910, the number of women employed in the United States increased from 2.6 million to 7.8 million. Women's organizations in towns and cities across the U.S. were working to promote suffrage, better schools, the regulation of child labor, women in unions, and liquor prohibition.
By emphasizing traditional traits, female social reformers created new spaces for themselves in local and then national government even before they had the right to vote.
Stine, Sable, Gilliland, Baston, Snow ready for race
8,528 Media in collectionpage 1 of 86

Edith Bolling (married Woodrow Wilson)

Photograph shows half-length portrait of Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, seated, facing right.

Maude by G.P. J. Hood [Jacomb Hood]

Photograph shows Maud Franklin, full-length portrait, standing, facing front, near a doorway.

Miss Alice Hay

Photograph shows three-quarter length portrait of Alice Hay (Mrs. James Wolcott Wadsworth), seated in chair, facing front. She was the daughter of ambassador and statesman John Milton Hay.

Helen Hay

Photograph shows three-quarter length portrait of poet, writer and philanthropist Helen Julia Hay (Mrs. Helen Payne Whitney), seated in front of door, facing front. She was a daughter of ambassador and statesm... more

Princess Mary & Brothers

Photograph shows Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood (1897-1965), and her brothers, who were children of King George V and Queen Mary. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2011)