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Introduction - Carrie Chapman Catt  Page 1, 2, 3

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Carrie Chapman Catt


     Carrie Chapman Catt, representing the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association, speaks at the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention in 1890. In 1892, Susan B. Anthony asks Catt to address Congress on the proposed suffrage amendment. When Anthony steps down as president of NAWSA in 1900, at the age of 80, she selects Carrie Chapman Catt to be her successor. Catt leads the organization until 1904, when she resigns to care for her ailing husband. After he dies in 1905 and Susan B. Anthony dies in 1906, Catt focuses on the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, which she had formed in 1902. She spends eight years traveling around the world to promote suffrage for women.

     During this time, NAWSA is led by Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, a physician, minister, and master orator. Catt resumes leadership of NAWSA in 1915. In 1916, she introduces her “winning plan”, which proposes to focus on suffrage at both the state and federal levels simultaneously, and to compromise for partial suffrage in a state, if full suffrage seems out of reach. She knows, as more states adopt suffrage, their representatives in Congress are more likely to support an amendment applying suffrage across all the states. Unlike the National Woman's Party, the NAWSA strategy is to remain strictly non-partisan.

     In 1917, NAWSA campaigns and successfully wins the vote for the
women in New York State, where more than 10% of the voting age women

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