Adra Powers, Class of 1921, Suffrage essay and bibliography, 1918

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Adra Powers, Class of 1921, Suffrage essay and bibliography, 1918


Adra Powers turned in these two assignments about suffrage for her English II class, showing that students were engaging in political topics through the curriculum. The first, a revision of a short paragraph, does not debate whether women should be granted suffrage, but instead focuses on how that right should be granted. She argues that constitutional amendments for individual states would be more effective than a federal amendment—a realistic viewpoint at the time, since the Nineteenth Amendment kept falling short of getting enough votes in Congress. It would be defeated five times before it passed through both the House and the Senate with enough support a year later. Her second assignment is a bibliography, and covers a larger scope of material, suggesting that Adra was researching the issue of women’s suffrage beyond constitutional amendments.


Adra Powers




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Essay, bibliography



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I believe that women should be given suffrage by federal amendment for two reasons. It would not interfere with the states rights, for, if three-fourths of the states believe that it should be accepted, surely the other fourth will My second reason is that, although it has been argued that it might make our opening wedge, it is more important than those other amendments already made for it is something which will affect the whole country. Then, too, as some state constitutions are so rigid that they practically cannot be amended, it will be necessary to make a federal amendment in order to give the women in these states the vote.
I believe now that suffrage should be given to women by state amendment. FIrst, it will be more effective by state amendment. Secondly, conditions are different in different states so that more time is needed in some than others. THirdly, national suffrage has been shown to be a failure in other countries. I still feel that the agreement that some state constitutions cannot be amended is a good one and the only one which left any impression with me in favor of the affirmative. But, as I understood it all the states which were mentioned could have their constitutions amended in course of time. BUt if it is true that is is practically impossible ever to amend some state constitutions then it not only should be but will have to be done by federal amendment.


Powers Essay.pdf



Adra Powers, “Adra Powers, Class of 1921, Suffrage essay and bibliography, 1918,” Digital Exhibits of the Archives and Special Collections, accessed November 30, 2023,

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