South Carolina, a mostly rural state in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was racially divided and impoverished after Reconstruction. Its economy was mainly agrarian, growing crops such as cotton and tobacco. Rights for women, both Black and White, were severely limited. The heart of this story is the decades long struggle for women’s fight for the right to vote.
Prior to the Pollitzers, earlier South Carolina women who advocated for women’s rights were the Grimke sisters, and the Rollin sisters. After Reconstruction, women began to embrace another platform. In addition to opposing alcohol, the Temperance movement opened the door to focusing on other issues, and enabled women to hone their leadership skills. Sallie Chapin, Virginia Durant Young, and Louisa Poppenheim played crucial roles in improving social issues in South Carolina. By 1890, Young was the figurehead in South Carolina’s efforts to revive the fight for women’s suffrage, but was focused on only White women getting the right. Young founded the S.C. Equal Rights Association (SCERA) in 1890, and became affiliated with the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Many women’s clubs, although segregated, sprang up across the country in the late 1800’s. Many of these clubs focused on similar issues, but were unable to effectively combat these issues due to racial tensions.
- 8-5 The student will understand the impact of Reconstruction, industrialization, and Progressivism on society and politics in South Carolina in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- During the periods of Reconstruction, industrial expansion, and the Progressive movement, South Carolina searched for ways to revitalize its economy while maintaining its traditional society. To understand South Carolina’s experience as represen...
- USHC-4 The student will demonstrate an understanding of the industrial development and the consequences of that development on society and politics during the second half of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.
- Political democracy depends upon the active participation of individuals working through political and economic-interest groups to protect their welfare. To understand how groups in the past have protected their rights, the student will utilize the kn...
- USHC.3.CE Assess the causes and effects of significant turning points in the Populist and Progressive era from 1877–1924.
- 8.3 Demonstrate an understanding of conflict and compromise in South Carolina, the Southern region, and the United States as a result of sectionalism between the period 1816–1865.
- 4.5.E Analyze multiple perspectives of the economic, political, and social effects of Reconstruction on different populations in the South and in other regions of the U.S.