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    The Women’s Suffrage Movement History

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    The Women’s Suffrage Movement, beginning in 1848, has changed the role of women across the United States. The actions of those who pushed the Women’s Suffrage Movement have impacted every woman in the United States. Susan B. Anthony, Elizebeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul headed the Movement and influenced many thriving movements, including those in the Twenty-First Century. The first national Suffrage organization was established in 1869, when two competing organizations were formed, one led by Anthony and the other led by Stanton. The Seneca Falls Convention was established to help start the movement, even though at first the fight for women’s Suffrage began way before the Civil War. (History 1) During this time, different reform groups were popping up all over the United States, these groups consisted of temperance leagues, religious groups, and anti-slavery groups. In many of these groups, women played a key role. In 1848, activists came together in Seneca Falls, New York to discuss where the Women’s Movement was headed. All three hundred women who came together from the invitation of Stanton. The consensus among the group was that “American women were autonomous individuals who deserved their own political identities” (History 2).

    The convention was held on July 19th and 20th, in 1848, and three hundred people, mostly women, attended, eager to see what the convention was about. During the convention, eleven resolutions were talked about, “the resolutions demanded that women should have equality in the family, education, jobs, religion, and morals.” All of these resolutions were passed among the convention, except for the ninth resolution that demanded the right for women to vote in all elections. Finally, by the end of the convention on July 20th, the resolution was passed. For the Seneca Falls convention to be a success, there needed to be organizers who would give speeches and who would be advocates for the women’s movement. Stanton, who was the main organizer, first became part of the movement after she saw the work her father, a law professor, did on different cases regarding property rights for women in the 1840’s. The four other women at the convention were: Lucretia Mott, who was a preacher from Philadelphia, Mary M’Clintock who was the daughter of activists, Martha Coffin Wright was was Mott’s sister who, joined the women’s movement with her, and finally Jane Hunt, who was a Quaker activist.

    The Suffrage Movement’s message started to resonate with a lot of women. Many women liked the idea of having more rights, because many of them only cooked, cleaned, and took care of their families, and having these new rights let them feel that they were equally important to their husband’s organizations. At the Seneca Falls convention Stanton famously said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among this life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” This showed the importance of voting rights for women that as citizens of the United States, they should have the same rights as men. It also showed that they were serious about getting the right to vote and wanted to be taken seriously by the Government, and anyone who opposed them. The women who led the movement were incredibly focused on their message and would overcome all obstacles to obtain rights for women. Under the leadership of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other women’s rights pioneers, Suffragists circulated petitions and lobbied Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to enfranchise women (Frankel 1). Stanton and Anthony, really wanted the legislation passed, thus giving women the ability to vote in all elections, but not many government officials took them seriously, making it very hard for them to get anything passed.

    Meanwhile, the movement had become a “mass movement” with thousands of women all over the United States coming together and trying to get the rights they deserved. Getting the right to vote would take a long time but, they realized that women needed to win the right to vote. These leaders and the many women who joined them were tired of cooking and cleaning and wanted to attend college, vote, serve on juries, and testify in court. (Timmons 2). To most people, women were homemakers and not people who should attend colleges and attend other activities that their male counterparts did. Obtaining the right to vote was a strenuous process. During this time the United States of America was going through a change; industry was surpassing agriculture in productivity and profitability. (Timmons 3). Many free African Americans joined the women’s movement and both of these groups would end up being the two most pivotal movements of the Nineteenth and Twentieth century.

    Today, women have the right to vote because of the Nineteenth Amendment that was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920. More modern women’s activists like Eleanor Roosevelt, whose work for women began long before her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidency, joined the Women’s Trade Union League in 1922, and ended up befriending Rose Schneiderman who was one of the most prominent female labor union leaders at the time. Later, Elanor Roosevelt coordinated women’s activities during Al Smith’s run for the presidency in 1928 and later worked on her husband’s presidential campaigns(Kettler 5). “When Franklin won the White House, Eleanor used her new position to support women’s interests;” including press conferences she held for female reporters to help them get their start in the workforce. (Kettler 5). In the 1960s and 1970s, there was a new wave of leadership in the Women’s Movement that included Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem.

    Friedian who is famous for her feminist novel The Feminine Mystique that was written in 1963, explored the causes of the frustrations of modern women in traditional roles. Many women related to her frustrations and her writings and that ultimately gave her a large platform to speak on. Gloria Steinem started as a writer after finishing college, and through her writings became interested in the women’s movement and feminism. She helped create both New York and Ms.magazines and helped form the National Women’s Political Caucus. (Biography 1) Steinem was the face of the women’s movement throughout the 1960s. Even today, at 86 years old, she still speaks out for women’s rights and those who are against it. She is most associated with the women’s movement and especially at that time and still looked upon as the leader to many current women’s rights organizers and leaders. ( Biography 4) The National Women’s Political Caucus is “a multi-partisan grassroots organization in the United States dedicated to recruiting, training, and supporting women who seek elected and appointed offices at all levels of government.” It was started by Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Betty Friedan (Biography 2).

    It is still in use today, they train young women to work in political campaigns and help them with fundraising, confidence, and dealing with all kinds of press issues. Even in the twentieth and twenty-first-century women’s rights are still talked about and debated all over the United States. Many women these days, work as human rights defenders since, in some states, women are not as protected. These women who work as human rights defenders continue to work for justice, not only in the United States but in other countries where women have very few rights. These days there are so many organizations dedicated to women’s rights, whether it be abortion rights or equal pay for equal work. Now, more women than men are enrolled in medical school, and law school and hold high positions in companies. For women like Elizebeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony, for all of this to happen for women would be such an accomplishment for all their hard work, hundreds of years ago, that they and the organizations they helped put together had all of these accomplishments.

    The movement that was created by Stanton and Anthoney is now in the capable hands of hundreds of young women all over America, and more and more women are now involved in the government. In the 116th Congress, “women will make up nearly a quarter of its voting membership” , the highest percentage in U.S. history, and a considerable increase from where things stood not too long ago. ( DeSilver 1) 102 women now serve in Congress, something that was unheard of in the late 1800s when the Suffragette Movement started. Finally, the impact the Suffragette Movement had, was extremely important for the United States. Susan B Anthony and Elizebeth Cady Stanton and many others were able to create a movement that is still thriving in the twentieth century. The Women’s Movement plays a a vital part in our government, women have had the right to vote for a while, but many organizations help women get into office and thanks to the Suffrage Movement we might not have that today.

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    The Women’s Suffrage Movement History. (2021, Oct 15). Retrieved from

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