"As Badly off as the Filipinos": U.S. Woman Suffragists and Turn-of-the-Century U.S. Imperialism

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This article considers why turn-of-the-twentieth-century U.S. women's suffragists failed to build a coalition with anti-imperialists comparable to the antislavery-women's rights alliance of the antebellum period. Although some prominent suffragists--including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton--accepted the fundamental principle of empire and only critiqued the implementation of U.S. policies, others regarded anti-imperialism as a necessary outgrowth of their suffrage principles. Since imperial endeavors gave rise to an anti-imperialist movement, that, during the Philippine-American War, gained more political salience than women's suffrage, anti-imperialist suffragists also regarded their opposition to empire as a politically astute strategy. Yet the suffragists who strove to build a reform coalition were frustrated by both male anti-imperialist leaders and many of their suffrage associates. And despite their interest in coalition building, anti-imperialist suffragists failed to reach out to Filipina women, who faced protracted struggles for political rights.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-33
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Women's History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Anti-Imperialism.
  • Philippines.
  • Politics.
  • Suffrage.
  • Women's Movement.


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