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Women's Suffrage : Home

Women's Suffrage

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Women's Suffrage Movement

The woman suffrage movement actually began in 1848, when a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The Seneca Falls meeting was not the first in support of women’s rights, but suffragists later viewed it as the meeting that launched the suffrage movement. For the next 50 years, woman suffrage supporters worked to educate the public about the validity of woman suffrage. Under the leadership of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other women’s rights pioneers, suffragists circulated petitions and lobbied Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to enfranchise women.

At the turn of the century, women reformers in the club movement and in the settlement house movement wanted to pass reform legislation. However, many politicians were unwilling to listen to a disenfranchised group. Thus, over time women began to realize that in order to achieve reform, they needed to win the right to vote. For these reasons, at the turn of the century, the woman suffrage movement became a mass movement. Continue reading from National Women's History Museum

Women's Right to Vote

The 19th Amendment guarantees American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation. Beginning in the mid-19th century, woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered radical change.

Between 1878, when the amendment was first introduced in Congress, and 1920, when it was ratified, champions of voting rights for women worked tirelessly, but their strategies varied. Some tried to pass suffrage acts in each state—nine western states adopted woman suffrage legislation by 1912. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. More public tactics included parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Supporters were heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused. Continue reading from US National Archives

Books on the Women's Suffrage Movement

Link to Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? by Tina Cassidy in the Catalog
Link to The Women's Suffrage Movement edited by Sally Roesch Wagner in the Catalog
Link to The Woman's Hour by Elaine Weiss in the Catalog
Link to Lucretia Mott's Heresy by Carol Faulkner in the Catalog
Link to Why They Marched by Susan Ware in the Catalog
Link to We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment by Julie C. Suk in the Catalog
Link to Failure Is Impossible by Lynn Sherr in the Catalog
Link to Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists by Jean Baker in the Catalog
Link to Fighting Change by Faye E. Dudden in the Catalog
Link to Jailed For Freedom: American Women Win The Vote by Doris Stevens in the Catalog
Link to The Elizabeth Cady Stanton-Susan B. Anthony Reader edited by Ellen Carol DuBois in the Catalog