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Question: "Resolved, That woman sufrage is desirable."
Brief for the Affirmative.
W. D. BROOKINGS and V. S. THOMAS.Best general references: Dr. M. P. Jacobi, "Common Sense," applied to Woman Sense about Women; Geo. Wm. Curits, Equal Rights of Women; Julia Ward Howe, T. W. Higginson, Lucy Stone, Eliz. Cady Stanton, and Wendell Phillips, in No. Am. Rev., CXXIX, 413-446 (Nov. 1879); Geo. F. Hoar, in Century, XLVIII, 605-612 (Aug. 1894); Forum, XVIII, 306-414 (Dec. 1894).
I. Women Suffrage is equitable; accords with the principles of republican government. - (a) The best government comes from the consent of the governed. - (2) Women are citizens of the U. S. in all but right to vote: U. S. Rev. States. SS 1992-1994. - (b) "Taxation without representation is tyranny." - (1) Women own property as well as men. - (c) The ballot is the only efficient protection to a person's interests. - (1) Women not represented by men: Geo. Wm. Curtis, 8-13; Sumner, Speech March March 7, 1866.
II. Demanded by women: Gen. ref. and Arena, XI, 353-362 (Feb. 1895), - (a) Movement led by representative women. - (b) Fact that many women oppose is no objection. - (1) All reforms are met by opposition at first. - (2) Movement growing rapidly: Dr. M. P. Jacobi, 60-66.
III. Woman Suffrage is practicable; woman is man's equal intellectually: Dr. M. P. Jacobi, 16-60, 109-125. - (a) Edution. - (b) Ability to support herself (c) Economic importance, e.g., teachers, managers of public institutions, etc.
IV. Woman suffrage has worked well in practice, e.g., Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas: Dr. M. P. Jacobi, 153-158; Gov. 12 Reports of M. E. Greenberg and L. C. Renfro.
V. Woman Suffrage is desirable; it will raise the position of woman. - (a) Legally: protect her interests. - (b) Intellectually: suffrage stimulates education. - (c) Socially: give her equality in the home. - (d) Will not take woman out of her "sphere": Dr. M. P. Jacobi, 93-108. - (1) Such conception a relic of militarism. - (2) Womanliness the result of maternal instincts, not of outside influences. - (3) Recent reforms have not made woman "unwomanly."
VI. It will benefit the government both in - (1) Administration and in - (2) Elections: Dr. M. P. Jacobi, 165-197. - (a) It brings in new abilities. - (b) It brings in a conservative element, viz., that of the home. - (c) It purifies politics. - (1) Women pay more attention to morals. - (2) Have higher sense of honor. - (3) Not led by impulse, e.g., their overthrow of Populists in Kansas. - (d) Accords with general movement of suffrage, viz., greater numbers brings broader point of view.
Brief for the Negative.
W. E. HUTTON and E. P. WILLIAMS.Best general references: New Englander, XLIII, 193-212 (March 1884); Forum IV, 1-13 (Sept. 1887); Nineteenth Century XXV, 781-785 (June 1889); Catherine E. Beecher, Woman's Suffrage and Woman's Profession; Francis Parkman, Woman's Suffrage; Horace Bushnell, Woman's Suffrage, The Reform Against Nature.
I. The suffrage is not a natural right of all citizens. - (a) It is a privilege conferred from considerations of expediency: Lalor, Cyclopaedia, III, 823; Pomeroy Constitutional Law, S 256h; Minor vs. Happersett, 21 Wall, 165-178.
II. Woman's suffrage is not necessary. - (a) Women's interests are already well represented. Their interests, though equal to men's are not identical with them. - (b) The majority of women do not want it: Nineteenth Century, XXV, 281-285. - (1) Advocated by a few zealots. - (2) Where privilege exists it is little used.
III. It would be prejudicial to state interests. - (a) It would confer the franchise upon persons unfitted for politics: Nation, VIII, 88, X, 205; Forum, IV, 2. - (1) Physically. - (2) By temperament. - (3) By susceptibility to undue influence. - (b) It would greatly increase the number of illiterate and unqualified voters: Forum II, 429; New Englander XLIII, 207. - (1) The women who would use it belong to the lowest classes in our cities. - (2) Competent women would not use it. - (c) It would give rise to lax laws and weaken the government: Forum IV, 1-5. - (1) Laws must be sanctioned by physical strength. - (2) The best governments are supported by a preponderance of physical force.
IV. It would be deleterious to the interests of society. - (a) It would take woman from her natural sphere - the home. - (b) It would diminish her elevating and refining influence: Arena II, 175; Bushnell, Women's Suffrage, 20.
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