One such group was the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA) which was formed during this time period. The NAWSA was first led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Its main argument for suffrage was the “republican idea of individual citizenship.” The battle for women’s suffrage was extremely difficult especially in its early stages, which is why over time strategies changed within the NAWSA. Eventually leadership within the organization changed and new younger leaders came up with a different strategy to gain suffrage.
The new plan devised by the young leaders of NAWSA that succeeded the likes of Susan B Anthony, was far more controversial. They argued that women needed to vote to pass self-protection laws to guard against rape and unsafe industrial work. They also urged that political enfranchisement would further women’s roles in cleaning up immoral cities and corrupt politics. Their final new argument was that they deserved to vote more than new male immigrants, who they viewed and represented as illiterate idiots unfit to vote. They argued that these new immigrants would just vote for whoever their bosses told them to vote for. So to offset their effect on elections the only correct response would be for women to also gain voting rights. For this final strategy the NAWSA spewed anti-immigration vitriol and helped create a cycle of discrimination against immigrants that would last for decades.