Carrie Chapman Catt Speech Analysis

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During the Progressive Era, women began reforms to address social, political, and economic issues within society. Some addressed the issues with education, healthcare, and political corruption. Others worked to raise wages and improve work conditions. Among these (women) is Carrie Chapman Catt, a leader of the women’s suffrage movement. Beginning her career as a national women’s rights activist in 1890, she was asked to address Congress about the proposed suffrage amendment shortly after two years. To urge the arrogant politicians to pass the women’s suffrage amendment to the Constitution, Chapman Catt not only induces fear and culpability in them, but the language she employs also establishes herself as a credible individual by aligning with respected figures and emulating the politicians’ style of speech. Chapman Catt establishes herself as a credible individual by aligning with respected figures. Premising from the beginning of her address, she alludes to the cause of the American revolution, and the government’s power coming “from the consent” of the people as the two “fundamental principles” that “anchor” the liberty of the United States (39-40). This aligns her with the American ideals that founded the country. Building on that premise, she continues by…show more content…
She imposes a syllogism of “If parties prefer to postpone action longer and thus do battle with this idea, they challenge the inevitable. The idea will not perish; the party which opposes it may…Can you afford the risk?” In some way, this seems to be a threat towards the politicians. If they delay action any longer, they jeopardize their careers, or even their lives. Being politicians, they are assumed to be passionate and dedicated to their job. But, if their party ends, they might not have what they have worked so hard for
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