Chapter

A “National” Demonstration

Lucy G. Barber

in Marching on Washington

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780520242159
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931206 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520242159.003.0003
A “National” Demonstration

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Nineteen years after Coxey's Army straggled away from Washington, the suffragists' demonstration was a critical turning point for the acceptance of protesting in the capital. Their effort demonstrated that Washington demonstrations could be both dramatic and respectable. The “petition in boots” by Coxey's Army had seemed radical and unprecedented. In contrast, throughout the planning of the procession in 1913, the suffragists drew on techniques already in use by their movement in other parts of the country. They politely but firmly asserted their entitlement to use the political space of Washington as they saw fit. The protest attracted the attention of Congress, outgoing President William Howard Taft, incoming President Woodrow Wilson, the press, and the nation. The 1913 suffrage procession helped establish Washington as a public national space, open not only to official ceremonies but also to large-scale popular demonstrations.

Keywords: suffragists; Congress; demonstration; Woodrow Wilson; suffrage procession

Chapter.  12408 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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