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Women's Suffrage - 1900-1920

Women's Suffrage: women struggle for the right to vote. The later phases of the women's suffrage campaign in Britain and in the United States from 1900-1920, ending with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in America and the winning of women's suffrage in Britain. (At the time, "woman suffrage" was the term more commonly used.)
  1. Congressional Union CUWS (6)
  2. Lucy Burns
  3. Carrie Chapman Catt
  4. Pankhursts
  5. Alice Paul
  6. Early 20th Century

Woman Suffrage Demonstration in Pictures
On March 3, 1913, the National American Woman Suffrage Association - NAWSA - sponsored a woman suffrage parade and demonstration in Washington, DC, to coordinate with the arrival of Woodrow Wilson for his presidential inauguration. Here are some contemporary photographs of that landmark women's suffrage event.

National American Woman Suffrage Association
The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was the dominant organization in the period 1900 - 1920, though one more militant faction broke off and formed the Congressional Union. Learn more about the role of the NAWSA in the final years of the suffrage fight.

About Suffrage: Cast of Characters
Biographies of the women, including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott and anti-suffragists, from your About Guide to Women's History.

Why We Don't Want Men to Vote
In 1915, Alice Duer Miller published this parody of the critics of woman suffrage efforts.

August 26, 1920 - Women's Suffrage Victory - Nineteenth Amendment Beco
The Suffrage Amendment to the United States Constitution (19th Amendment) was ratified when it passed a vote in the legislature of Tennessee by a single vote. Read here the story of the last days before final ratification of woman suffrage.

Black Women to the Back
In the March, 1913, suffrage parade, African American women were asked to march at the back of the demonstration. Mary Church Terrell agreed; Ida B. Wells-Barnett had a different reaction.

Brutal Treatment of Women Suffragists at Occoquan Workhouse
The story of the treatment at Occoquan Workhouse in 1917 of the woman suffrage militants arrested for protesting outside the White House.

Considering Woman Suffrage
A Life editorial from 1905 considering woman suffrage from both sides, plus its conclusion.

Militant Suffragists Split Over Strategy
After the 1913 inauguration and other militant suffragist actions, the NAWSA (National American Woman Suffrage Association) pushed the militants out. The militants, led by Alice Paul, eventually formed the National Woman's Party.

New York 1913 Suffrage Demonstration
Photograph of women marching for the vote in New York City, 1913.

Suffering Suffragettes - W.E.B. duBois
This article originally appeared in the June 1912 issue of The Crisis, a journal considered one of the leading forces in the New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance, addressing a failure on the part of the National American Woman Suffrage Association to support a resolution condemning the Southern disenfranchisement of African Americans, in law and in practice.

Two Suffrage Movements - Martha Gruening
This article originally appeared in the September 1912 issue of The Crisis. It addresses the historical ties of the suffrage movement to the anti-slavery movement and regrets the later move away from defending racial justice. Martha Gruening, a white woman, worked for such causes as racial justice and peace.

Voices of 1920 Heard Today
An archive of oral history from some of the women who made history happen, winning the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Why We Don't Want Men to Vote - 1915
In 1915, Alice Duer Miller published this parody of the critics of woman suffrage efforts.

Why Women Should Vote: Historical Perspective
An editorial from the Hearst Newspapers, written by Arthur Brisbane. Not dated, but probably about 1917.

Women Marchers Attacked at Inauguration
At the 1913 Inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, militant suffragists marched, but not all the half-million observers were sympathetic to their goals.

Yellow Suffrage Ribbon
Suffrage ribbons were commonly worn in suffrage parades and marches. This one is from a 1913 woman suffrage demonstration.

Are Women People?
By Alice Duer Miller, 1915: satirical pro-woman-suffrage poems, many with a Gilbert and Sullivan feel to them, most with biting sarcasm.

Why Women Should Vote
Why Women Should Vote -- an editorial from the Hearst Newspapers, written by Arthur Brisbane. Not dated, but probably about 1917.

Educated Suffrage
Speech by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, February, 1902, to the NAWSA Convention.

From Suffrage to Women's Liberation
"Feminism in 20th Century America." Article written by feminist historian Jo Freeman, published in 1995. Freeman traces the 60s "second wave" to its roots in the early 20th century suffrage movement.

Illiniois Campaign
A history of the 1910-1913 campaign, ending successfully with the passage of a suffrage bill.

Jailed for Freedom
Doris Stevens, in 1920, recalls spending time in jail with Alice Paul.

Meditations on Votes for Women
1914 Atlantic Monthly article by Samuel McChord Crothers, considering typical arguments of the time for women's suffrage. Conclusions include thoughts like "Why should not the quiet stay-at-home women have the same means of expressing themselves which are allowed to quiet stay-at-home men?"

The Modern City and the Municipal Franchise for Women
Jane Addams speech, 1906, on the importance of the vote for "city housekeeping."

More Testimony from Colorado
Prof. Kelly presents the case for the legislature: why woman suffrage is important.

NAWSA Convention, 1917
In the middle of World War, the suffrage cause changed the focus of the women's convention.

NAWSA Position on the Race Question, 1903
The association's statement on race issues to the New Orleans Times-Democrat on the occasion of the NAWSA convention in New Orleans, 1903.

New York City Campaign
A history of the 1915 and 1917 suffrage campaigns in New York City.

The South and Woman Suffrage
Address by Belle Kearney, 1903, to the NAWSA Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Suffrage Songs and Verses
Pro-suffrage poems from Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Suffragists Lose Fight in the House: 1915
A reprint of the New York Times article, January 12, 1915, detailing the loss of the suffrage amendment in the United States Congress. The article includes statements from those who opposed the suffrage amendment and extended comments by Christabel Pankhurst.

Suffragists' Storm Over Washington
William and Mary Lavender, in this article from American History magazine, detail the brutal treatment of suffragists who picketed the White House during wartime, 1917, in seeking the vote for women.

To the Teachers of Wisconsin
An essay, circa 1912, arguing that teachers, who educate male students to cast ballots, ought to themselves be allowed to vote.

Why Women Do Not Wish the Suffrage - 1903
A perspective on the differences between men and women, and why women didn't want to upset the sexual divisions of the time through gaining the vote.

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