Women's Rights

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  • Women's rights have been a major issue in the American West from the end of the Civil War to the present day. Women's status has varied from state to state in the region depending on political, social, economic, and cultural variables. Both men and women viewed the postbellum West as a place of opportunity. White, middle-class women, however, were in a better position to exploit those opportunities than their working-class, black, Native American, and Hispanic counterparts.

    In the late nineteenth century, western states led the country in permitting women wider opportunities. This willingness was most apparent in the area of women's suffrage. In 1869, Wyoming Territory granted women the right to vote. By 1912, nine states, all of them in the West or Midwest, had followed ...

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