This introductory chapter sets out the book's primary goal, which is to understand the movement for women's rights from the point of view of the women who opposed their enfranchisement in New York State. Recovering a clearer understanding of attitudes regarding women's power, as well as the meaning of the vote to women of the time, more accurately illuminates any study of women's rights movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The book analyzes activities at the local and state levels, and those that connected New York State to the national perspective, in an effort to clarify the importance of anti-suffragism for the suffrage movement, as well as for the movement for women's rights. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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