Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

George White


Since the founding of the United States, the task of determining who has the right to political participation has been difficult. As a result, many groups, including women, had to take dramatic steps to ensure their right to suffrage and access to public space. Beginning in 1913 with the first National Demonstration and the pickets that followed in 1917, these women began to claim national public space as a space for protest. This research seeks to determine and understand the evolution of identities embraced by suffragists as correlated with protest tactics used from 1913 to 1920 in Washington, D.C. The research was based on photographs collected from the Records of National Women’s Party located in Library of Congress. The photographs were separated into two groups: parades/pageants from 1913-1917 and picketing from 1917-1920. Content analysis was used to analyze the photographs in order to determine which identity, civic or feminine, suffragists embraced. The analysis of photographs from the women’s suffrage movement demonstrations in Washington, D.C. confirms that feminine identity more frequently occurs in parade photographs, while photographs of pickets show higher frequencies of civic identity.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-86).



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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