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The Women’s Suffrage Movement

The United States’ Government, in the year 1920, passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States’ Constitution which gave access to all US citizens, men and women, to vote in local and national elections and run for office. This was one of the most important bills to be passed in the history of Women’s Rights on our planet. However, it took a long time coming. The start of this struggle began in the 18th Century when Lydia Chapin who lived in Colonial America was allowed to vote in the state of Massachusetts.

However, this was an exception to the law and all other women were denied their right to vote. This led to numerous women and other women’s rights activists debating the suffrage and in 1850 the first ever National Women’s Rights Convention took place in the US. The biggest problem for women was the medieval outlook that most men had in those days. Many of the men firmly believed that politics was out of a woman’s natural sphere of thinking.

However, many supporters of the movement had argued that the inclusion of women in politics would mean better policies and laws that would focus upon matters relating to households and families. The National Women’s Right Convention’s utmost goal was to make the government pass laws that would give all the female citizens their right to vote and run for office. At about the same time in history, the women’s suffrage movement was receiving a major boost in Great Britain where in 1869 the government allowed single women, with ownership of a home, the legal right to vote in all local elections.

A number of other countries started to acknowledge the women’s suffrage movement more seriously and the first country to ever make voting rights equal for men and women was New Zealand which passed the law in the year 1893. However, in the US the women’s suffrage movement was almost unheard of during the Civil War. In 1869 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan Anthony formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) which was an all women’s association. They proposed laws that could help women in the American society and vigorously campaigned for the same.

At the start of the 20th Century more and more people in the US started paying attention tos the women’s suffrage movement and finally President Woodrow Wilson did too. With his support the women’s movement got the final push in the House of Congress where the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in the year 1920.

Works Cited Flexner, Eleanor. Century of Struggle: The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United States. London: The Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1996.

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