Edward Gardner Lewis and Mabel Gertrude Lewis, Missouri-based publishers of the Woman's Magazine, sought to improve politics by educating and enfranchising women. In 1908 they founded the American Woman's League, a national organization that, among other benefits, offered correspondence courses through the People's University. In 1911 they transformed the league into the American Woman's Republic, combining the university with a government parallel to the United States'. Taking courses in politics and voting in republic elections, women trained for future participation in the U.S. government. The republic thus made education the center of its strategy to attain and prepare women for suffrage. After winning the vote, women would use their training to clean up politics and to pass beneficent legislation. Though it attracted many members, the republic survived only a few years. Its story suggests both the promise of education as a tool of political reform and the obstacles to unconventional strategies for change.


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pp. 209-230
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