Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Kori A. Graves

Committee Member

Michael Taylor


This thesis explores the pivotal role of the Schenectady County League of Women Voters in shaping local policy and politics through civic education during the interwar years. Empowered by the principle “know your facts before taking a stand and going public,” the Schenectady County League educated both its members and the public on policy issues in a nonpartisan and all partisan way. The Schenectady County League’s strategic emphasis on nonpartisan civic education empowered its members to become well-informed advocates for policy change. By prioritizing issue-based stances over partisan politics, the Schenectady County League expanded its influence beyond traditional boundaries and addressed crucial challenges in the community. Through initiatives such as study groups, monthly bulletins, and radio broadcasts, the Schenectady County League effectively educated the public on local and state affairs, fostering a culture of informed civic participation. After the local branch’s formation in 1925, it immediately worked on reform in areas of child welfare at the local, state, and national level. When the Great Depression hit in 1929, the Schenectady County League shifted focus towards government efficiency and education, emphasizing the need for crucial reform in both areas. After 1936, the Schenectady County League began to focus on international cooperation until the national war effort took root in its agenda in 1941. The Schenectady County League then worked to bridge the gap between national emergencies and local realities, empowering the public by using civic education to make their voices heard.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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