Book of the Week #45

Voices Without Votes: Women and Politics in Antebellum New England by Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray (Durham, NH: University of New Hampshire Press, 2010)

The election held in November of 1920 was the first one is which American women were legally able to vote. However, for nearly 100 years prior to that women had been active in politics in the United States. This book, published as part of Revisiting New England: The New Regionalism, looks at the ways in which women in New England influences and participated in the political questions of their time. The authors, both professors at the University of Pittsburgh use the diaries and letters of New England women to illustrate how they influenced the political landscape of the country between the 1830s and the start of the Civil War. In some ways the world depicted here isn't that different from New England today.
"Some degree of political socialization, regardless of gender, was virtually inescapable in antebellum New England, for it was an environment saturated with open and unambiguous expressions of partisanship. The near-universal extension of of the male franchise regionwide (with the notable exception of Rhode Island, as we discuss in chapter 7) during the early nineteenth century ushered in a participant type of civic culture." (from the Introduction, p. 6)

The right to vote was not easily won, be sure to exercise yours this election day, November 6, 2012.

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