Sample Summary of Chapter 6 on Expanding Democracy by J. Williams T. Young

Chapter 6 of J. Williams T. Young’s American Realities on the expansion of American explores the important role of women’s involvement in active politics. J. Williams analyzes common challenges and criticisms that influenced women’s efforts to fight for their right to vote. According to the chapter, most critics believed that achieving women suffrage or right to participate in electoral process threatened to destabilize the political environment dominated mostly by men. Furthermore, according to the J. Williams, critics believed that women had weaker physical and psychological strength to survive the murky and burly political atmospheres. Others argued that women’s increased participation in politics would destabilize the otherwise peaceful domestic settings. The chapter further stipulates that women were likely to abandon most of their domestic roles and responsibilities through increased involvement in the busy world of politics. Subsequently, J. Williams observes that the increased desires to create and maintain such domestic tranquility encouraged the political class and conservative citizens to reject attempts to allow women’s participation in electoral processes.

  1. Williams attributed different issues and factors to the constant postponement of such women suffrage laws. For instance, political power players at both state, local, and federals held conservative and rigid views on the role of women in their societies. They believed that introducing new sets of voters into the electoral systems would destabilize the status quo. Furthermore, the chapter observes that influential business personalities feared that women leaders and voters would influence changes to some of their repressive policies such as poor working conditions. Another major point in this chapter was the misconception that sexual equality in electoral systems would elevate women’s inferior intellectual capacities. J. Williams attributes such argument to the conservative perceptions that women were susceptible to the corrupt and negative influences of the self-indulged personalities. Alternatively, women rights movement wanted to demystify such traditional attitudes propagated by critics of women suffrage laws.

Subsequently, the chapter establishes that women suffrage leaders adopted numerous strategies to encourage changes in perception about women’s participation in politics. Indeed, the American societies were highly patriarchal and this limited women’s ability to pursue meaningful reform agendas. Therefore, J. Williams narrates that groups of marching women movements paraded streets of major cities to sensitize the citizens and the political class on the need to introduce and effectively implement women’s universal suffrage laws. Undeniably, the author affirms that struggles were not without challenges with some women experiencing harassments and threats.

Towards the end of the Progressive era, the author observes that such campaigns towards transforming the American political landscape gained traction. Specifically, women’s right to vote became an important issue of discussion in American political landscape. The leaders of different women movements capitalized on the growing dissents among the American citizens towards the tough  environments to strengthen their demands for women suffrage. The chapter further observes that through increased demand for social reformeconomics and related programs, women suffrage leaders gained adequate managerial or administrative tactics to lobby the government and other related agencies to give to their varied demands. The messages from these movements appealed to poorer laborers whose primary desire was to express their thoughts and perceptions concerning different societal issues. Progressively, according to J. Williams, women’s right to vote became an integral part o their natural rights to live and integrate in the patriarchal American societies.