Masters Thesis

No politics allowed: Nevada Club women and suffrage

This study examines the early history of Reno, Nevada’s Twentieth Century Club and its relationship to the state suffrage movement. Several Club women attempted to introduce the idea of female equality to members with speeches, paper presentations, and literary works. However, since the founders of East Coast women’s clubs forbade political discussion, several Reno Club members insisted on adhering to the rule. Consequently, Club women were required to lobby men in power for real change. Those members who rejected suffrage acted against self-interest. An understanding of women in the West, the Nevada suffrage movement, and early women’s clubs was essential for this study. Critical resources included archival evidence such as Club and suffrage documents, current academic works, and local newspaper accounts. As traditional conservatives, suffrage opponents proved successful in delaying Club suffrage support. However, as a Twentieth Century progressive reform, suffrage was ultimately endorsed by Nevada women’s clubs and passed by state voters in 1914.