The fight for women’s suffrage, or voting, went on for about seventy years. The fight first officially started in 1848 with the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. This was the start of a long, complicated battle.
The woman’s rights issue was actually first motivated by another cause, anti-slavery. There were meetings that women weren’t allowed to vote in. At the World’s Anti-slavery Convention, women weren’t allowed in. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, later suffrage leaders, were two of the women who were excluded admittance.
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It was 1848, and Stanton and Mott were starting their journey on the road to suffrage with the first women’s rights convention. The women at the convention made up a list of complaints to show that for years men have been dominant over women. This became the first public protest for women’s rights in America, "The Declaration of Sentiments."
Many people opposed to the idea of women’s rights. Men, of course, being the majority of it. They thought that women weren’t as smart. They thought they could represent women better than women themselves. There were also women who thought that women in politics would be the end of family life.
In May 1869, two women’s suffrage organizations formed. The first was the National omen’s Suffrage Organization formed by Stanton and Anthony. This group was the more radical of the two, their goal being to have an amendment ratified for women’s suffrage. The other was the American Women’s Suffrage Organization, the conservative one. Their goal was to get individual states to grant women the right to vote. Later, in 1890, the two joined together to make the National American Women’s Suffrage Organization.
For over fifty years, these women were determined to win voting rights. So determined in fact, that in 1872, Susan B. Anthony and 50 other women went to register to vote in the presidential election. They were refused at first, but demanded to be able to register. Fifteen women along with the inspectors who allowed them to register were arrested and tried with a $500 bail.
The unwavering determination of these women was starting to wear down the all-male government. First came Wyoming in 1869. The next was Utah in 1870 and then Colorado in 1893. The boundaries of women were expanding. By 1919, 37 states gave women full or partial suffrage. In 1918, the suffrage amendment, which was proposed in 1878 but left unchanged, was defeated and then a year later. But in 1920, the women’s suffrage amendment was finally ratified.
After a very long battle, the women’s struggle paid off. Their long-awaited goal was granted. This was official with the nineteenth amendment. After suffrage was granted, women continued working on women’s rights.
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