FREEDOM'S FERMENT

Emancipation unleashed hopes for expanded freedom across America. Reformers hitched the freedom struggle in the South directly to struggles in the North, arguing that equal rights should know no bounds. The contagion of liberty that grew from the freedom struggle of the antislavery movement in the 1830s, and the rise of the Republican Party in the 1850s, gained new energy and purpose during and after the war. Equal rights before the law now meant breaking down discriminatory laws and practices that kept blacks from equal access to public accommodations and the ballot box. It also spread to include the idea of universal, or impartial, suffrage. Women, too, insisted on the vote. The freedom, or Reconstruction, amendments - the 13th, 14th, and 15th -charted the direction and dimensions of those freedoms for the nation. But, as women discovered when they were left out of specific enfranchisement provisions in law, securing freedom demanded further organization and persistent struggle.

"How It Would Be If Some Ladies Had Their Own Way," in Harper's Weekly, May 16, 1868.

The Cosmo-Political Party, Nomination For President Of the U. S. In 1872. Victoria C. Woodhull," in Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, May 20, 1871.