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Votes for Women: “Let the People Rule”

Votes for Women: “Let the People Rule” Broadside
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[ This description is from the project: Who Counts? A Look at Voter Rights through Political Cartoons ]

In 1912, as the candidate of the Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party, Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed, "Let the people rule!" While Roosevelt supported voting rights for women, there remained the question of whether women would be accepted as full participants in American political life—if they truly were "people."

Clifford K. Berryman, an editorial cartoonist for the Washington Star, had gained wide popularity a decade before when he drew an orphan bear cub that Roosevelt had refused to shoot—the "teddy bear." Berryman’s whimsical drawings allowed him to address serious questions such as universal suffrage with a light touch. His "Let the People Rule!" cartoon was printed as a broadside and postcard. It continued to appear as a banner in women suffrage parades after the 1912 presidential campaign ended.