When the United StatesConstitution was written, onlywhite men had the right to vote.Women were not allowed to voteunder the law. Women also did nothave many other rights such asthe right to own property or to beeducated for certain jobs.
As time passed, many peoplecame to feel that this was unfairand that women should have thesame rights as men in our country.Women’s suffrage (right to vote)became an organized movement in1848 at a convention in New York.
The suffrage movement did nothave much success in the beginningand it would be almost 80 yearsbefore U.S. laws would be changed.Many women and men worked veryhard to bring about these muchneeded changes in the law.Here are a few important peoplefrom the suffrage movement:
Susan B. AnthonySusan B. Anthony wasborn February 15, 1820in Adams, Massachusetts. She wasbrought up in a Quaker family with longactivist traditions. Early in her life shedeveloped a sense of justice.
Elizabeth Cady StantonIn 1851 Stanton metSusan B. Anthony and forthe next fifty years theyworked together. Stanton wrote and gavespeeches that called for the improvementof the legal and traditional rights ofwomen, and Anthony organized andcampaigned to achieve these goals.
Lucretia MottLucretia Mott helped to organize and calltogether the first womens rightsconvention in Seneca Falls, New York inJuly of 1848.
Sojourner Truth Truth became a speaker on womens rights issues after attending a Womens Rights Convention in 1850.
Anna Howard ShawAnna Shaw was a doctor aswell as the first womanMethodist Minister. She met Susan B.Anthony in 1888 and began working forwomen’s rights. She was the president ofthe National American Women SuffrageAssociation (NAWSA) for 11 years.
Carrie Chapman CattCatt was president of the NAWSA whenthe 19th amendment giving women theright to vote was passed in 1920.
Esther Morris Esther Morris wasthe first woman tohold public office inthe United States.She was a judge in theWyoming Territory.
These women and other menand women across the countryworked long and hard toconvince the government andthe people of the UnitedStates that the laws should bechanged.
One thingthat had to bedone, was tolet the peopleof each statevote on theidea.
The state of Tennessee was the36th state to approve the law.Their approval gave the amendmentthe majority it needed to become alaw.Finally after years of hard work,the 19th Amendment was added tothe Constitution of the UnitedStates in August of 1920.
Amendment XIXThe right of citizens of theUnited States to vote shall not bedenied or abridged by the UnitedStates or by any state on accountof sex. The End (but really just the beginning)