Monday, November 8, 2004

History of Woman's Suffrage in the United States

As anyone who has been following my blog will notice I have been making a large deal about voting and the movie Iron Jawed Angels (a movie about the fight for woman's suffrage). Today I decided to write a blog dedicated to the real women that worked extremely hard throughout history to get women the right to vote.

Its said that women's suffrage begun in the late 1770's when Abigail Adams wrote letters to her husband (John Adams) reminding him that women should be mentioned specifically in the early documents of the United States. During the mid 1800's the first Women's Right Convention was held. In 1866, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony started the American Equal Rights Association. The associations goal was to get everyone the right to vote. They presented a petition for the right of women to vote to Congress in 1866 (which was not ratified).

In 1869 Stanton and Anthony formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). The NWSA was consided, by most, ratical. Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, and Julia Ward Howe, on the other hand, organize the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). AWSA was considered more conservative and was based out of Boston. In 1872 Susan B. Anthony is arrested for attempting to vote and Sojourner Truth tried to vote in Michigan but was turned away. In 1874 the U.S. Supreme Court states that states can decide if women are allowed to vote or not.

In 1913 Alice Paul and Lucy Burns organize a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. Over 5,000 women attending the parade. Unfortunatly, the crowd got hostile and the police did not act swiftly. However, suffrage did make headlines in the newspapers. In 1916 Alice Paul decides to splits with NAWSA because of disagreements. She forms the National Woman's Party (NWP). Their purpose is to get an admendment for national suffrage. In 1917 the NWP begins to picket outside of the White House.

In 1918 - 1920 the NWP continues to picket outside the White House, eventhough World War 1 began. Many of the women picketing were arrested for obstructing traffic. Most of the women refused to pay the fine and were sent to a work house. The women then went on hunger stikes while at the work house. Adventually, stories of mistreatment made it to the newspapers and they were released.

In August of 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment is ratified. The NAWSA was no longer needed and it becomes the the League of Women Voters. In 1923 the NWP proposes the Equal Rights Amendment to eliminate gender discrmination, but it was not ratified.

*Referance: HBO's Iron Jawed Angels Site under Suffrage History

Hope you enjoyed these little bits of information. Thanks for taking time to read my blog. If you liked reading about the history of woman's suffrage there are tons of places on the web for more information just search on Google. If you liked the blog topic let me know by leaving some comments.

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