Suffrage in British Columbia – and elsewhere in Canada – is best understood as a continuum: although white settler women achieved the federal vote in 1917, it would take another thirty years before the provincial government would remove race-based restrictions on voting rights.
British Columbia is often overlooked in the national story of women’s suffrage. A Great Revolutionary Wave challenges that omission and the portrayal of suffragists as conservative, traditional, and polite. Lara Campbell follows the propaganda campaigns undertaken by suffrage organizations and traces the role of working-class women in the fight for political equality. She demonstrates the connections between British Columbian and British suffragists and examines how racial exclusion and Indigenous dispossession shaped arguments and tactics for enfranchisement. A Great Revolutionary Wave rethinks the complex legacy of suffrage by considering both the successes and limitations of women’s historical fight for political equality. That legacy remains relevant today as Canadians continue to grapple with the meaning of justice, inclusion, and equality.
1 Suffrage and Reform
2 Building a Movement
3 The Anti-suffragists
4 Performing Politics
5 The Politics of Race
6 Labouring Women
7 A Global Movement
8 Achieving the Vote
9 Extending Suffrage
Sources and Further Reading; Index
Lara Campbell is a professor of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. She has served on the Canadian Historical Association Council and as co-chair of the Canadian Committee on Women’s and Gender History. Among her many publications are A Great Revolutionary Wave: Women and the Vote in British Columbia and, with Tamara Myers and Adele Perry, the seventh edition of Rethinking Canada: The Promise of Women’s History.
Michael Dawson is a professor of history at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, where he has also chaired the department and served as associate vice-president (research). His publications include Selling Out or Buying In? Debating Consumerism in Vancouver and Victoria, 1945–1985 and, with Catherine Gidney and Donald Wright, Symbols of Canada.
Catherine Gidney is an adjunct research professor of history at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. Her publications include Captive Audience: How Corporations Invaded Our Schools and Tending the Student Body: Youth, Health, and the Modern University. She is a former president of the Canadian History of Education Association and a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.
Contributors: Funké Aladejebi, Taylor Antoniazzi, Marin Beck, Josette Brun, Kevin Brushett, Lara Campbell, Michael Dawson, Sophie Doucet, Matthew Fesnak, Patrizia Gentile, Catherine Gidney, Laurie Laplanche, Margaret Little, Lynne Marks, Eryk Martin, Emma McKenna, Liz Millward, Sarah A. Nickel, Emma Paszat, Cheryl Krasnick Warsh, Whitney Wood
An excellent addition to the Canadian series Women’s Suffrage and the Struggle for Democracy, the volume is a meaningful contribution to the ongoing dialogue on human rights and social justice.
~K. Jane Watt, BC History
A core rationale for this book series, Lara Campbell explains, is the need to 'tell regional stories' about the women's suffrage movement. Campbell's regional focus is justified by her treatment of elections at the municipal level and for school boards.
~Barbara J. Messamore, University of the Fraser Valley, BC Studies
...[A Great Revolutionary Wave] compellingly argues that the stories of women’s suffrage cannot be read in isolation without recognizing their intimate connections with the stories of all people who were discriminated against and denied the vote on account of race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, and other characteristics of their personal, social, and political identities.
~Dominique Garingan, Library Manager, Parlee McLaws LLC, Canadian Law Library Review
Her book makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of herstory.
~Phyllis Reeve, The Ormsby Review
Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing, British Columbia Historical Association
Clio Awards (British Columbia), Canadian Historical Society