Woman’s Suffrage Movement

The Nineteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Neither the United nor any state has the right to keep a citizen from voting because she is a woman. Congress has the power to make laws that will make this amendment effective (cited in League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area, 2006).

This amendment, which is also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment (Brooks & Gonzalez, 2007), was approved by the United States Senate in June 4, 1919 and was authorized into law by the U. S. Secretary of State in August 26, 1920 (Jone Johnson Lewis, 2007). Years before this amendment was approved, the Woman Suffrage Movement has been formed to give women equal rights. This was developed because women in the 1800s do not have privileges similar to those of men (League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area, 2006).

Sarah and Angelina Grimke unlocked the door for women to have freedom to speak in 1830s (League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area, 2006). It was in 1836 when Angelina urged Southern women to protest against slavery (Brooks & Gonzalez, 2007). However, her sister, Sarah, issued “Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women” in 1838. Both of them have been involved in the movements of suffrage and the abolitionist (The Moschovitis Group, Inc. , 2001). In 1840, Abolitionists Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were not allowed to participate in The World Anti-Slavery Convention they attended in London.

Because of this incident, they organized the First Women’s Rights convention which was held in Seneca Fall, New York in July 19 to 20, 1848 (Brooks & Gonzalez, 2007). The said convention was attended by 300 people including Amelia Bloomer, Charlotte Woodward, and Frederick Douglas. A Declaration of Sentiments, which was written by Stanton, was implemented (The Moschovitis Group, Inc. , 2001). This was an announcement of women’s freedom and equality, as well as a proclamation that “all men and women are created equal (cited in League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area, 2006). ”

It was in October 1850 when the first National Woman's Rights Convention was conducted in Worcester, Massachusetts (The Moschovitis Group, Inc. , 2001). Rational men and women supported the said convention, which was attended by 1,000 people from 11 states (League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area, 2006); among which are Paulina Wright Davis, Frederick Douglass, Abby Kelly Foster, William Lloyd Garrison, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth (The Moschovitis Group, Inc., 2001). However, in 1867, Equal Rights Association, which has worked for universal suffrage, was organized by Susan B. Anthony (Brooks & Gonzalez, 2007).

Susan was the young teacher who demanded equal pay for women teacher in 1837 (Jone Johnson Lewis, 2007) and was the one responsible for setting aside the suffrage activities during the Civil war in 1861 to 1865 (Brooks & Gonzalez, 2007). On the other hand, the suffrage movement was divided into black and woman suffrage in 1869, when Frederick Douglass and the others backed out and focused in the campaign for black male equality (Brooks & Gonzalez, 2007). The reason for the division was the arguments over the Fifteenth Amendment, which was approved in 1870 and gave black men the right to vote (The Moschovitis Group, Inc., 2001).

Eventually, the National Woman Suffrage Association was developed in the same year by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as founders (Jone Johnson Lewis, 2007). Subsequently, the American Woman Suffrage Association was established in November 1869 in Cleveland with Henry Ward Beecher as head (Brooks & Gonzalez, 2007), and Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Julia Ward Howe as its founders (Jone Johnson Lewis, 2007). In January 10, 1878, the Anthony Amendment was presented to the U. S Congress.

Eventually, the First Senate committee hearing on the Anthony Amendment was held. For the record, the U. S Senate casted their votes regarding woman suffrage in January 25, 1887 but was then, the last in 25 years (Jone Johnson Lewis, 2007). Nevertheless, the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association united in 1890 and were developed into National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA). This new organization concentrated in woman’s democracy and was lead by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area, 2006).

In 1913, the Congressional Union (CU) for Woman Suffrage was created by Alice Paul as a militant branch of NAWSA (The Moschovitis Group, Inc. , 2001). But in 1914, the Union left the NAWSA and was re-established into National Woman’s Party in 1916 (Jone Johnson Lewis, 2007). Nonetheless, the House of Representative handed the Anthony Amendment in January 10, 1918 but the Senate did not succeed to pass it. It was in May 21, 1919 when the U. S. House of Representatives passed the Amendment once more. After that, it was permitted by the U. S. Senate in June 4, 1919.

At long last, the U. S. Secretary of State authorized the Anthony Amendment into law in August 26, 1920 (Jone Johnson Lewis, 2007). The struggles and difficulties that numerous women faced paid off. Women today should be grateful because the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gave them the full right to vote that women in the past have not experienced.


Brooks & Gonzalez. (2007, September 23). Timeline of Women's Suffrage in the United States. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://dpsinfo. com/women/history/timeline.

html Jone Johnson Lewis. (2007, April 28). Women’s Suffrage Events. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://womenshistory. about. com/od/suffrageoverview/a/timeline. htm League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area. (2006, January 21). The Woman’s Suffrage Movement. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www. lwvdayton. org/SuffrHist/SuffrCurricul. pdf The Moschovitis Group, Inc. (2001, November 05). Timeline from: A History of the American Suffragist Movement. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www. suffragist. com/timeline. htm