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Just as the world war is no white man’s war, but very man’s war, so is the struggle for woman’s suffrage no white woman’s struggle, but every woman’s struggle.
Carrie Chapman Catt wasn’t always completely sure exactly what she wanted to do in her life, but one thing is for sure, once she discovered what she was called to do she didn’t stop until it was accomplished. I’m not sure even Carrie understood the impact she would make as a woman rights activist, and all the wonderful opportunities she would create for women.
Carrie was born on January 9th, 1859, near Ripon, Wisconsin. She had big dreams and high hopes of attending college, this is something she knew she could not financially do on her own. Carrie turned to her father for financial support, but unfortunately her father refused to help. A very determined Carrie started working as a teacher so she could pay her way through the Iowa State College, which she accomplished in 1880, Carrie graduated with a bachelor’s degree. According to a Biography article, soon after Carrie graduated she became a high school principal and just two years later a superintendent at a Mason city school in Iowa.
Carrie then married a newspaper editor named Leo Chapman. She soon started working alongside her husband on the Mason City Republican. Unfortunately, Leo died just a year after they got married, Carrie decided to move to San Francisco and continue working on newspapers. Living in San Francisco didn’t last too long for Carrie, she decided to move back home to Iowa in 1887, where she would soon start a new chapter in her life. According to an article published by History , Carrie did get married for the second time in 1890 to a wealthy engineer by the name of George Catt. Carrie’s new marriage would allow her to travel and campaign for woman’s suffrage. Carrie had become involved in this association in the late 1880’s but didn’t really actively campaign or take part in the association.
By 1990 Carrie had began her first term as president of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, she was on track to do big things for the organization. Little did she know her husband would soon become ill and pass away, causing her to have so step away from her post. Carrie was needed more than she knew by the organization, in 1915 the NAWSA otherwise known as the National American Woman Suffrage Association had reached out to Carrie asking for her knowledge and help. Carrie once again took the presidential position of the NAWSA. She promised she would come up with a “winning plan” for the organization.
Carrie’s main focus was on learning what it would take to pass a federal amendment, she believed she could push for the right for women to vote. Carrie gathered a group of women voters to spread the word and get other women involved. “There are whole precincts of voters in this country whose united intelligence does not equal that of representative American women”. – Carrie Chapman Catt. In 1920 all of Carrie’s hard work had paid off, the 19 ammendment had passed and women now had the right to vote because of Carrie Chapman Catt.
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