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plish with a part what could only be done with the united strength of the
whole. Though this folly may be less apparent, it is just as real, when
one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the world is excluded from any
voice or vote in civil government. In this denial of the right to participate in
government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a
great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the
moral and intellectual power of the government of the world. Thus far all
human governments have been failures, for none has secured, except in a
partial degree, the ends for which governments are instituted.

War, slavery, injustice, and oppression, and the idea that might makes
right, have been uppermost in all such governments; and the weak, for whose
protection governments are ostensibly created, have had practically no rights
which the strong have felt bound to respect. The slayers of thousands have
been exalted into heroes, and the worship of mere physical force has been
considered glorious. Nations have been and still are but armed camps,
expending their wealth and strength and ingenuity in forging weapons of
destruction against each other; and while it may not be contended that the
introduction of the feminine element in government would entirely cure this
tendency to exalt might over right, many reasons can be given to show that
woman's influence would greatly tend to check and modify this barbarous
and destructive tendency. At any rate, seeing that the male governments of
the world have failed, it can do no harm to try the experiment of a
government by man and woman united. But it is not my purpose to argue the
question here, but simply to state, in a brief way, the ground of my espousal of
the cause of woman's suffrage. I believed that the exclusion of my race from
participation in government was not only a wrong, but a great mistake,
because it took from that race motives for high thought and endeavor, and
degraded them in the eyes of the world around them. Man derives a sense of
his consequence in the world not merely subjectively, but objectively. If
from the cradle through life the outside world brands a class as unfit for this
or that work, the character of the class will come to resemble and conform
to the character described. To find valuable qualities in our fellows, such
qualities must be presumed and expected. I would give woman a vote, give
her a motive to qualify herself to vote, precisely as I insisted upon giving the
colored man the right to vote, in order that he should have the same motives
for making himself a useful citizen as those in force in the case of other
citizens. In a word, I have never yet been able to find one consideration, one
argument, or suggestion in favor of man's right to participate in civil
government which did not equally apply to the right of woman.

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