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Party watchfires burn outside White House, Jan. 1919.

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Party watchfires burn outside White House, Jan. 1919.

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Summary: Photograph of National Woman's Party watchfire demonstrators standing with banners and fire in urn in front of White House. One banner reads, "President Wilson is deceiving the world when he appears as the prophet of democracy. President Wilson has opposed those who demand democracy for this country. He is responsible for the disfranchisement of millions of Americans. We in America know this. The world will find him out."
Cropped version of the photograph published in The Suffragist, 8, no. 1 (Feb. 20, 1920): n.p. Shows only the fire, banners, and White House; no people in published version.

Suffragettes Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the late 1800s, women worked for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms, and sought to change voting laws in order to allow them to vote. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (founded in 1904, Berlin, Germany), and also worked for equal civil rights for women. Women who owned property gained the right to vote in the Isle of Man in 1881, and in 1893, the British colony of New Zealand granted all women the right to vote. Most independent countries enacted women's suffrage in the interwar era, including Canada in 1917; Britain, Germany, Poland in 1918; Austria and the Netherlands in 1919; and the United States in 1920. Leslie Hume argues that the First World War changed the popular mood: "The women's contribution to the war effort challenged the notion of women's physical and mental inferiority and made it more difficult to maintain that women were, both by constitution and temperament, unfit to vote. If women could work in munitions factories, it seemed both ungrateful and illogical to deny them a place in the polling booth. But the vote was much more than simply a reward for war work; the point was that women's participation in the war helped to dispel the fears that surrounded women's entry into the public arena..."

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Date

01/01/1919
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Contributors

Harris & Ewing, Washington, D.C. (Photographer)
place

Location

Washington, District of Columbia, United States38.90719, -77.03687
Google Map of 38.9071923, -77.03687070000001
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Source

Library of Congress
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Public Domain

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