Many people wonder what women's suffrage is. Woman's suffrage is the right of women to vote. The woman who tried to gain suffrage, or fight for it, were called suffragists. The people who supported them and the drive for this new movement were also known as suffragists.
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States says, "The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or be abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex." This basically means that all people of the United States are allowed to vote whether they be a man or a woman. Many people today do not realize how hard women had to fight to get this right of equality. About a century ago, this issue was a very emotional subject. Many people did not agree and arguments about this often ended up in a street fight. Woman won the right to vote only after a long and heated time.
The fight for women's suffrage began in the early colonial days. After the United States became a nation, the Constitution gave the states the right to decide who should and could vote. There were some women who objected to not being allowed to vote. One woman by the name of Margaret Brent demanded a "place and voice" in the Maryland assembly as early as 1647. She was of course denied the vote by the all male council. Another lady, Anne Hutchinson, in Massachusetts spoke up for woman's rights. She was later banished from the colony because it was dominated by strict Puritans. In those days, only a few women dared to demand their right in the Colonial United States.
The right to vote during the colonial days was limited to those who were property owners. Most women could not vote during the colonial times. However, there were a few exceptions. Some colonies would let women vote if they were widowas and owned property. But by 1830, all white men could vote, even if they weren't property owners.
As time went by more women started to realize that it was unfair for them not to have the right to vote. The real struggle for women's rights came out from the anti-slavery movement. The women were very instrumental in the abolitionist movement. They sent thousands of anti-slavery petitions to Congress. Women back then were not looked at as equal to men, even in the Nineteenth Century. Women were thought to be inferior to men, less capable, less intelligent, and weaker. As a result to the thought that woman were inferior, lawas and lifestyles reflected that attitude. Women had few legal rights, and the opportunities for education and jobs were almost nonexistent. However, some women did not believe that all women were
inferior to men. They thought that if they were given the opportunity, most women would be able to accomplish a great deal and make important contributions to society. It was the changing social conditions for women in the early 1800's combined with the idea of equality that led to the birth of the women of the suffrage movement. The feminists of the nineteenth century knew that changes in attitudes and opinions were necessary in order for women to be equal with men.
There were several women who played a key role in getting the Nineteenth Amendment passed. Two ladies that started the official movement was Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott. They met each other at an...