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Hindsight: Conflict And Compromise

Jordan Kirtley / KMUW

If necessity is the mother of invention, then conflict both presents new challenges and opportunities and requires us to consider what our necessities actually are.

In this episode of Hindsight, we will explore the development of the woman’s movement between 1850 and 1875.

While we might be prone to focus on this period’s most extreme conflict — the American Civil War — in point of fact, this 25-year period is also a dynamic and critical one for the development of the woman’s movement and its push for political, legal, economic, and suffrage rights.

It’s a period in which we see the newly acquainted Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton begin to organize a movement around a fully articulated statement of woman’s rights in the context of the larger, international movement for abolition and human rights, but struggle to move it beyond white, middle-class women’s issues. It’s a period in which lesser-known married partners Francis and Virginia Minor challenge the U.S. Supreme Court to declare what rights women have as citizens under the 14th Amendment. And it’s a period in which racism and regionalism will bitterly divide the nation, the movement, and many friendships, shaping and reshaping the goals of the woman’s rights movement for decades to come. 

So hold on for a bumpy ride. This is Hindsight, Episode Two: Conflict and Compromise.


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Dr. Robin C. Henry holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Indiana University and is an associate professor in the history department at Wichita State University. Her research examines the intersections among sexuality, law, and regional identity in the 19th- and early 20th-century United States.