1912 quote: “Politics is no place for a woman.”
HOW U.S. WOMEN GOT THE VOTE
THE 133-YEAR BATTLE FOR A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO VOTE
1787: Federal government puts voting rights into states’ hands.
Women in all states except New Jersey promptly lose the right to vote.
1807: New Jersey women lose the right to vote.
1848: Women decide to pursue the right to vote.
In Seneca Falls NY, the first women’s rights convention passes a resolution in favor of women’s suffrage (despite the opinion of those members who feel that the idea is too extreme).
1867: Kansas holds suffrage referendum for women and black men.
Women and black men are denied the right to vote.
1869: Wyoming Territory grants women’s suffrage.
1870: Utah Territory grants women’s suffrage.
1871: Anti-Suffrage Society is formed.
1872: Illegal voter is arrested.
Susan B. Anthony succeeds in voting in New York, but is then arrested and found guilty of committing an illegal act. Victoria Woodhull is the first female to run for President. She is nominated by the Equal Rights Party, with a platform supporting women’s suffrage and equal rights.
1874: Michigan referendum on women’s suffrage is defeated.
1875: Supreme Court denies women’s right to vote.
After the Supreme Court decides that the Constitution does not grant women the right to vote, suffragists begin their 45 year campaign for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a woman’s right to vote. Additional suffrage campaigns are initiated on a state-by-state basis.
1880: New York grants women the right to vote for school board members.
1883: Women in the Washington Territory are granted full voting rights.
1886: The suffrage amendment is defeated in the U.S. Senate.
1887: The Supreme Court strikes down Washington Territory law enfranchising women.
1887: Women in Utah lose the right to vote.
1890: Suffrage campaign loses in South Dakota.
1893: Colorado votes for women suffrage.
1895: New York State Association Opposed to Women Suffrage is formed.
1896: Utah becomes a state and again grants suffrage to women.
1896: Idaho grants women’s suffrage.
1902: New Hampshire votes down a women’s suffrage referendum.
EARLY 1900s: A TURNING POINT
1910: Washington State grants women suffrage.
Emma Smith DeVoe organizes a grassroots campaign and women win suffrage.
1911: California grants women suffrage.
1912: Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Party includes women suffrage in its platform.
1912: Arizona and Kansas grant women suffrage.
1912: Alaska’s territorial legislature grants women suffrage.
1913: A suffrage amendment is again defeated in the U.S. Senate.
1914: Nevada and Montana grant women suffrage.
1916: Woodrow Wilson promises to endorse women suffrage.
1916: Montana elects the first woman, Jeannette Rankin, to the House of Representatives.
1917: Silent Sentinels of Liberty
In January, the National Women’s Party posts the Sentinels to picket the White House (the first political group to do so). In June the arrests begin. Nearly 500 women are arrested; 168 go to jail. On November 14, 33 of these women are tortured and beaten by guards and the superintendent of the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia.
1917: Arkansas grants women the right to vote in primary, but not in general elections.
1917: Nebraska, North Dakota, Michigan, and Rhode Island grant women presidential suffrage.
1917: New York, Oklahoma, and South Dakota state constitutions grant women suffrage.
1918: The jailed Sentinels are released from prison. Court rules their arrests were illegal.
1918: The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution loses by two votes in the Senate.
1918: President Wilson declares support for women suffrage.
1919: Michigan, Oklahoma, and South Dakota grant women full suffrage.
1919: The Nineteenth Amendment is passed by the U.S. Senate on June 4.
1920: The Nineteenth Amendment is ratified, stating: 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.
Top photo: Women in Minneapolis MN, lining up to vote for the first time (1920) in a Presdential election.
For more information:
• en.wikipedia.org - Women suffrage in the US
• sfpl.org - 1911: Reasons why women shouldn’t be able to vote
• en.wikipedia.org - American Equal Rights Association
• en.wikipedia.org - Victoria Woodhull
• en.wikipedia.org - Susan B. Anthony
• en.wikipedia.org - Elizabeth Cady Stanton
• en.wikipedia.org - Emma Smith DeVoe
• en.wikipedia.org - Jeannette Rankin
• en.wikipedia.org - National Woman's Party
• en.wikipedia.org - Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution
• en.wikipedia.org - Timeline of women's suffrage in the US