Item #8650 Brief Prospectus of the American Woman’s Republic. American Woman’s Republic.
Brief Prospectus of the American Woman’s Republic.
Brief Prospectus of the American Woman’s Republic.

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Brief Prospectus of the American Woman’s Republic.

University City, St. Louis, Mo., 1913. 24mo (5.5” x 3.5”), illustrated white wrappers. 16 pp. CONDITION: Very good, tear to back wrapper at upper staple.

A scarce booklet outlining the goals, structure, and activities of this “school for suffrage,” which, established just over a decade before women gained the right to vote, harnessed distance learning to promote women’s enfranchisement (Cohen).

Missouri-based magazine publishers Edward Gardner Lewis and Mabel Gertrude Lewis founded the American Woman’s League in 1908 with the goal of preparing them for full participation in American democracy. Three years later they transformed the organization into the American Woman’s Republic, which supplemented correspondence courses in politics through their People’s University with a mock United States government in which women practiced voting, holding office, and passing legislation—much of which turned on concerns neglected by male-dominated politics, including children’s protection and a ban on war. Membership was open to “all women and men of the Caucasian race. Men may vote in those states which have granted the suffrage to woman,” and dues from over 80,000 participants (by 1911) generated funds to support the organization. Despite its substantial membership and evident success with the relatively new practice of distance learning, the Republic survived only until about 1915, when the energies of at least two thousand members, including the Lewises, were directed instead towards the establishment of a colony in southern California.

OCLC records just four copies, at Yale, Texas Woman’s University, The Library of Virginia, and the Wisconsin Historical Society.

REFERENCES: Cohen, Michael David. “School for Suffrage: The American Woman’s Republic,” The Good Society Vol. 25, No. 2–3 (2016).

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