Tags: Voting Rights | womens voting rights | 19th Amendment | events

Women's Voting Rights: 7 Events That Led Up to the 19th Amendment

By    |   Saturday, 14 Nov 2015 11:11 PM

On a summer day in 1848, more than 300 men and women crowded into a chapel in Seneca Falls, New York. According to the History Channel, this gathering marked the formal beginning of the women's voting rights movement, which culminated in 1919 with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Nearly 150 years after the founding of the U.S., American women earned their voting rights. This step heralded a decades-long transition that redefined the role of women in the U.S., but several key events preceded it and made it possible.

1. July 19, 1848
Women's rights activists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the Seneca Falls convention that started it all. After the event, the women's voting rights movement gained steam and prompted the creation of several organizations that focused on educating the public and pushing the government to extend the right to vote to women.

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2. 1869
The women's voting rights movement lost steam briefly during the Civil War as many people focused on the war and on ending slavery. Four years after the end of the war, two groups formed and reignited the suffrage movement. Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA).

As abolitionists, they feared the 15th Amendment wouldn't pass if it included voting rights for women. They instead favored amendments to state constitutions. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed another group, the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which pushed for an amendment legalizing voting for women.

3. Dec. 10, 1869
The Wyoming Territory legalized voting for all women age 21 and older, becoming the first state to grant voting rights to women. When Wyoming joined the Union in 1890, this provision remained in its constitution even though voting for women was not legal elsewhere in the U.S.

4. 1882
The U.S. Senate appointed a Select Committee on Woman Suffrage, which announced it favored a constitutional amendment legalizing voting rights for women. The U.S. Senate website noted that opposition from a large group of senators, including several from the Southern states, killed that bill and subsequent efforts.

5. 1890
The NWSA and AWSA merged, forming the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The NAWSA worked to bring women the right to vote in individual states instead of through the federal government.

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6. Sept. 30, 1918
President Woodrow Wilson formally and publicly supported granting voting rights to women, announcing his stance in a speech to the U.S. Senate.

7. June 4, 1919
Fifty-two years after the introduction of the first amendment legalizing voting for women, the U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment, giving that right to all women in the U.S. The amendment was ratified on Aug. 18, 1920.

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On a summer day in 1848, more than 300 men and women crowded into a chapel in Seneca Falls, New York. According to the History Channel, this gathering marked the formal beginning of the women's voting rights movement.
womens voting rights, 19th Amendment, events
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2015-11-14
Saturday, 14 Nov 2015 11:11 PM
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