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Suffrage and the Right to Vote

Suffragists,1848 – 1920

  • 1848 – woman’s suffrage movement began
  • Women continue the fight for suffrage after the Civil War


National American Women Suffrage Association

  • National American Woman Suffrage Association
    • NWSA –
    • Nativist arguments
  • AWSA –
    • Merged in 1890
    • Worked on a state-by-state basis
  • NAWSA – worked for suffrage on a state by state basis
  • League of Women Voters
  • NWP – National Women’s Party


Carrie Chapman Catt, 1859 – 1947

  • Through the vote women could improve conditions for themselves and children
  • Women would foster world peace


Alice Paul, 1885 – 1977

  • Formed the National Women’s Party with Lucy Burns
  • Placed in solitary confinement
  • Beaten
  • Force fed


Lucy Burns, 1879 – 1966

  • College educated
    • Vassar
  • Split from NAWSA
    • Pushed for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women suffrage


Public Demonstrations

  • Paul and Burns take a more aggressive approach
  • March 3, 1913
    • Day before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration day
    • Black women are forced to march at the back behind all white women
  • Picket the White House, 1917



  • Were arrested for
    • Unlawful assemblage
    • Obstructing traffic
  • Occoquan Workhouse
    • Treated as criminals
    • Women wanted to be treated as political prisoners


Brutal Treatment of Women

  • November 1917
    • Malnourished
    • Chained to wall
    • 16 women participated in a hunger strike
    • Led to forced feedings
  • Night of Terror Nov. 14, 1917
    • Create public support
  • Brutal treatment in prison led to public support of suffragettes
  • Sympathy for the suffragists


19th Amendment

  • August 18, 1920
    • 19th Amendment was ratified
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965
    • Black women could not vote until much later

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History 111