South Dakota women pursued full enfranchisement over the course of fifty years, dating from territorial days and into the First World War. As the United States entered the First World War, pro-suffrage advocates in South Dakota took advantage of the increasing anti-German sentiment that was growing in the state and country with the promotion of Amendment E, an amendment that appeared on the 1918 ballot in South Dakota that would enfranchise the women of South Dakota while disenfranchising the state’s immigrant voters. South Dakota only required immigrants to file their “first papers” in order to vote, which declared their intention to become full citizens, but these immigrants did not have to serve in the military during the First World War.
This thesis examines newspapers in Spink County—a small county in the northeast part of South Dakota—and how these small-town newspapers addressed issues of citizenship, immigrants, politics, and woman suffrage over the course of the state’s woman suffrage movement. With the growing anti-immigrant sentiment coinciding with a revived woman suffrage movement, newspapers across the county examined issues surrounding the war in conjunction with issues regarding citizenship and loyalty. Suffrage advocates in Spink County exploited the anti-immigrant sentiment and began to implement ads and articles in newspapers to promote their cause and Amendment E while highlighting their significant wartime contributions. Ultimately, woman suffrage in Spink County passed in 1918 due to growing anti-immigrant sentiment in conjunction with their positive wartime contributions.
|Advisor:||Rozum, Molly P.|
|Commitee:||Lampert, Sarah E., Struckman-Johnson, Cindy|
|School:||University of South Dakota|
|School Location:||United States -- South Dakota|
|Source:||MAI 81/12(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, American history|
|Keywords:||Newspaper, South Dakota, Suffrage, Women, World War I|
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