Women's Suffrage And The 19th Amendment

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Women’s Suffrage: The 19th Amendment and Getting the Right to Vote

The year was 1848. Something historic had happened in Seneca Falls, New York. More than 300 men and women assembled for the nation’s first women’s rights convention. (Library of Congress.)
Woman suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, declared that “all men and women are created equal.”
(Keller, 598.) She had based her ideas on the Declaration of Independence. (Barber, 193.) From then on, thousands of people participated in the movement for women’s rights. Much of their effort was focused on women’s suffrage and securing voting rights for women. They also worked to end other forms of discrimination against women and to open opportunities that had previously been closed to
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As a result, disagreements over these issues led the women’s rights advocates to split into two separate groups. Led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.
Anthony, the National Woman Suffrage Association was the more radical of the two. They demanded the immediate passage of a federal law granting women full voting rights. (Keller, 599.) Therefore, the tactics of suffragists went way beyond petitions and memorials to Congress. Testing another strategy,
Susan B. Anthony registered and voted in the 1872 election in Rochester, New York. For this reason, she was arrested for “knowingly, wrongfully, and unlawfully, voting for a representative to the Congress of the United States.” (National Archives.) As a result, she was convicted by the state of New York and fined one-hundred dollars, which she insisted she’d never pay a penny of. On January 12, 1874,
Anthony petitioned the Congress of the United States requesting “that the fine imposed upon
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Although this was only allowed in presidential elections, women’s right activists had won a political victory in a state east of the Mississippi River for the very first time. Arguments for women’s suffrage varied widely. Far from attacking the idea of separate spheres for men and women, many suffragists supported it. (Keller, 602.) They insisted that women needed the right to vote as it will enhance their ability to be good wives and mothers. Moreover, they argued that in the new, industrialized landscape of modern America, women needed to be politically active in order to be responsible caretakers of their home. Likewise, suffragists disagreed on strategy and tactics. Unhappy with the gradual state-by-state focus of the NAWSA, a group of activists led by Alice Paul founded the
Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, later called the National Woman’s Party, in 1913. Under
Alice’s leadership, the National Woman’s Party called for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. By the autumn of 1916, it was clear that the women suffrage movement was gaining ground. Furthermore, suffragists were also gaining support for a proposed constitutional

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