English Honors 10
1 May 2013
Women Suffrage Women across the nation from the late 1890’s to the early 1930’s have fought for women’s rights and women’s independence. They fought many political and economic battles across the United States. Charlotte Gilman stated, “Speaking generally, the women had not only no voice in the management of the country, but she had no control over her own property earner or inherited; no control of her own children; no control even of her own person...” (Gilman.). This quote shows how little of rights women has a whole back in the earlier centuries. World war one slowed the suffrage movement; however women across the nation proved their point that they were just as deserving and rightful as men. The Women suffrage movement started much earlier than society may think. Women demanded suffrage as early as 1848. The Seneca Falls Convention gathered up 200 women and 40 men. The delegates believed women to be citizens not limited in any way as wives or mothers (“Battle for Suffrage”). The Seneca Falls convention is generally known as the official start of the Women Suffrage Movement. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal” (“Battle for Suffrage”). This quote shows that the natural and constitutional belief is that all people are created equal and shouldn’t be treated differently than each other. Women, at this specific point of time, did not have the individual rights that they felt they deserved. They could not vote, they couldn’t work at the same jobs men did, and they were treated differently by society at the time. Clara Zetkin stated in a passage, “When a battle for suffrage is conducted, it should only be conducted according to socialist principles, and therefore with the demand of universal suffrage for women and men” (“Clara Zetkin Quotes”). Women were considered citizens, but only through certain aspects. These aspects did not include voting, which is what some women wanted most. Women’s suffrage at the state level was first granted by Wyoming in 1869 (“Women’s Suffrage”).
To try and earn the rights they felt they deserved, women would hold boycotts and hold signs up on busy streets and neighborhoods. In 1878, an amendment was introduced to the United States Congress. The wording was unchanged in 1919, when the amendment finally passed both houses and was approved by the congress. This was a huge step in the suffrage movement, and caused women to gain a mutual confidence in one another to get through the times they had dealt with. The strategies women used to gain suffrage, at the time, included more than just boycotts and political attention. They roamed through streets of all areas in various locations to try and spread the idea of women’s rights in the United States. They tried to get support from a wide variety of people and it soon worked out in their favor. They were gaining societies support little by little. As a result of the amendment being passed, women gained more than their independent rights. This opened educational opportunities for women and job opportunities also. These included women being able to have a wider diversity of schools to choose from. The women were amazingly proud of the work they did in order to gain their independence that they deserve. Women now had the legal right to vote and were treated more fairly than ever before. By the 1910’s, women suffrage had become a mass movement (“Battle for Suffrage”). Many women now tried to get job offers and only few got hired. “The test for whether you can hold a job or not should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes” (“Quotes About Suffrage”). This quote basically states that it should not matter what sex you are when it comes to jobs and political opportunities. This was a huge step in the suffrage movement and gave women total confidence and belief in what they were trying