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Marching on WashingtonThe Forging of an American Political Tradition$
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Lucy Barber

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242159

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242159.001.0001

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A “National” Demonstration

A “National” Demonstration

The Woman Suffrage Procession and Pageant, March 3, 1913

(p.44) CHAPTER TWO A “National” Demonstration
Marching on Washington

Lucy G. Barber

University of California Press

Nineteen years after Coxey's Army straggled away from Washington, the suffragists' demonstration was a critical turning point for the acceptance of protesting in the capital. Their effort demonstrated that Washington demonstrations could be both dramatic and respectable. The “petition in boots” by Coxey's Army had seemed radical and unprecedented. In contrast, throughout the planning of the procession in 1913, the suffragists drew on techniques already in use by their movement in other parts of the country. They politely but firmly asserted their entitlement to use the political space of Washington as they saw fit. The protest attracted the attention of Congress, outgoing President William Howard Taft, incoming President Woodrow Wilson, the press, and the nation. The 1913 suffrage procession helped establish Washington as a public national space, open not only to official ceremonies but also to large-scale popular demonstrations.

Keywords:   suffragists, Congress, demonstration, Woodrow Wilson, suffrage procession

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