Southern Strategies

Southern Women and the Woman Suffrage Question

By Elna C. Green

320 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 16 illus., 31 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-4641-4
    Published: May 1997
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-6175-2
    Published: November 2000
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6838-1
    Published: November 2000

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Awards & distinctions

A 1997 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

The biographies of more than 800 women form the basis for Elna Green's study of the suffrage and the antisuffrage movements in the South. Green's comprehensive analysis highlights the effects that factors such as class background, marital status, educational level, and attitudes about race and gender roles had in inspiring the region's women to work in favor of, or in opposition to, their own enfranchisement.

Green sketches the ranks of both movements--which included women and men, black and white--and identifies the ways in which issues of class, race, and gender determined the composition of each side. Coming from a wide array of beliefs and backgrounds, Green argues, southern women approached enfranchisement with an equally varied set of strategies and ideologies. Each camp defined and redefined itself in opposition to the other. But neither was entirely homogeneous: issues such as states' rights and the enfranchisement of black women were so divisive as to give rise to competing organizations within each group. By focusing on the grassroots constituency of each side, Green provides insight into the whole of the suffrage debate.

About the Author

Elna C. Green is Allen Morris Professor of History at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
For more information about Elna C. Green, visit the Author Page.


โ€œ[Finds] much that is new in an old topic, namely, how the woman suffrage movement culminated in victory seventy-eight years ago.โ€Southern Cultures

โ€œThis study advances considerably our understanding of the complexities of the suffrage and antisuffrage movements in the southern states.โ€--Journal of American History

โ€œA significant achievement . . . [and] an important addition to the literature on Southern women and politics.โ€--Journal of Social History

"Provocative and imaginative, well researched and argued, this monograph belongs in undergraduate and graduate libraries because of its contributions in women's and southern history."--Choice

"A fresh look at the Southern women's suffrage question, which had previously been considered only on a state-by-state basis and through the eyes of movement leaders. Highly recommended."--Library Journal

"Southern Strategies makes an important and welcome contribution to the history of southern--and, indeed, American--women's attitudes towards woman suffrage. Elna Green's extensive research and thoughtful analysis illuminate the complex dynamics of an important topic that has far-reaching implications for our understanding of women's relation to politics in the South and throughout the nation. This fine book brings the history of women in the New South to a new level of sophistication and interest, and it will richly repay the attention of both specialists and general readers."--Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, author of Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South