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An American History Civil War Webquest: Women's Suffrage Movement

written by: Deidra Alexander • edited by: Jonathan Wylie • updated: 9/30/2014

The American Civil War was an incredibly multi-dynamic series of battles carrying many themes that included slavery, freedom and economics. Use this Civil War webquest to research how women supported the war and the suffrage movement at the same time.

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    If You Weren't a White Male...

    The years leading up to and during the American Civil War were difficult for any who did not fit the description of an adult white male. When Susan B Anthony Sufragette most people think of this war, their minds immediately go to the enslavement of Africans, but if you look beyond American History books you will find that not only did this group suffer, women also suffered.

    Women living in the North as well as the South faced some of the same issues of equal rights that blacks did; and for black women, because of both race and gender, their issues compounded at every turn. The Women’s Suffrage Movement united women across class, age groups, and racial lines. Many women during this time wanted nothing more than a voice in the world. When they found it necessary, they boldly crossed boundaries to have their voices heard loudly and clearly. Throughout several decades, women went to task for their equal rights against their counterparts who were adamantly against equality on every issue they brought to the table.

    In this American Civil War webquest, completing a unique learning task, your group will study the Women’s Suffrage Movement, highlighting some of its most noted members.

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    For this assignment, you will be conducting research on women of the Civil War to write historical accounts of the lives of three prominent women. This web-search project is an extension of your textbook.

    To make this assignment unique, in each biography you are required to include information about the woman inside of the woman. One criterion for passing is how well you incorporate extraordinary writing that is appropriate and intriguing. This means that you cannot use information found in your class books. Conduct an imaginary interview of these women and include it in your project submission. For each subject list, your job is to give the influences, accomplishments and struggles that tested and enriched the character of each woman. Each woman that you choose must have fought the war for women’s rights during the Civil War differently. Some women actively participated in the war, while others found other ways to stand out and stand up.

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    Assign each teammate a task in researching, recording, and reporting this information prior to starting.

    Visit this American Civil War webpage on women of the era. There you will find pictures of some of the prominent figures of the suffrage movement during the war. Take in the page fully, looking at the pictures and reading the captions below them. Visit the links in the sidebars for valuable information. Get a feel for each woman, her race and her place in society, especially noting how each affected her contribution to the movement and the war.

    After your review here, visit the Lakewood Public Library website for a listing of historical women. Each listing contains a biography and links to other websites for each person. On this page, you should definitely be able to make a decision on the three women you will cover.

    Start your writing by answering “who, why, where, why, and how." Within each answer remember to be adding special information about each character.

    Good luck and have fun! Use the attached rubric (see link below) for help with choosing information to include and present.

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    Refer to this rubric for evaluation standards.

    What Are Your Final Thoughts?

    At the end of this Civil War webquest, you should have a new respect for women of that time in history. Your understanding of the complexities of the social impact the war had on everyone living in the country has broadened due to your exposure to dynamic information on the subject. Use the writings from this webquest as a reference point for future study of other women and events in the movement as they advanced towards gaining the right to vote and triumphed in fight after fight for equal rights.