Women's Suffrage Parade, Washington D.C., 1913: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Women's Suffrage

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Overview

The women's suffrage movement began in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY. It was here that suffragists, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, drafted a Declaration of Sentiments that included demanding the right to vote for women. The Declaration of Sentiments was based on the Declaration of Independence.

The suffrage movement in 1869 split into the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) led by Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Blackwell. The NWSA was seen as the more radical of the two organizations, while the AWSA was more conservative. The suffrage movement gained a great deal of strength after the passage of the 15th amendment which, in 1870, guaranteed black men the right to vote, but did not mention women. After a number of years it became clear that it was not in the best interest of the movement to have two separate organizations, and in 1890 the two organizations merged to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

Suffragists then concentrated on producing reforms on a state level. In 1893 women got the vote in Colorado, followed by Utah (1896), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), California (1911), Arizona (1912), Kansas (1912), Oregon (1912), Illinois (1913), Nevada (1914) and Montana (1914). In the early 1900s, the suffrage movement attracted a new crop of women to its ranks. Women such as Carrie Chapman Cat and Maud Wood Park attracted women from the middle class to the movement, while other women such as Alice Paul, Harriot E. Blatch, and Lucy Burns attracted women from the working class.

Suffragists organized marches and parades as forms of active protest. In 1913, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns formed their own, more militant organization, the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage. This group would eventually evolve into the National Women’s Party in 1917. Paul’s group participated in huge pickets, including a daily picket of the White House. Paul was arrested and sentenced to seven months in prison, but went on a hunger strike and was released. Due to this picketing, 500 women were arrested and 168 were jailed for impeding traffic.

By 1918, in the midst of World War I, Woodrow Wilson stated that women's suffrage was needed as "war measure." The House of Representatives passed an amendment granting women's suffrage, but the Senate defeated it. In February of 1919, another amendment was presented to Congress, but this also did not pass. By May of 1919, the amendment was passed by the House and Senate. By 1920, the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified by the states.

Sources: Extracted from History of Women's Suffrage (Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership)
Women's Suffrage ; Painter, Nell Irving. Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919. New York: W.W. Norton, 1987.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930) 

Standard 1: How Progressives and others addressed problems of industrial capitalism, urbanization, and political coruption.

Standard 1B: The student understands Progressivism at the national level.
5-12: Describe how the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th amendments reflected the ideals and goals of Progressivism and the continuing attempt to adapt the founding ideals to a modernized society. [Evaluate the implementation of a decision] 

Standard 3: How the United States changed from the end of World War I to the eve of the Great Depression. 

Standard 3D: The student understands politics and international affairs in the 1920s
5-12: Assess the effects of woman suffrage on politics. [Evaluate the implementation of a decision] 

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION:  Suffrage parade, N.Y.C.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  May 3, 1913
    NOTES View towards Flat Iron Bldg., Fifth Ave. and Broadway
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to order copies of this item
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions 
    SOURCE: George Grantham Bain Collection
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC

  2. DESCRIPTION:  National Anti-Suffrage Association
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  [1911?]
    NOTES: Men looking in the window of the National Anti-Suffrage Association headquarters  
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to order copies of this item
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions 
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC

  3. DESCRIPTION: Suffragettes Parading
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  April 5, 1917
    REPRODUCTIONS How to order copies of this item
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions 
    SOURCE: George Grantham Bain Collection
    REPOSITORY:   Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

  4. DESCRIPTION: Official program - Woman Suffrage Procession
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  March 3, 1913
    NOTES:  Cover of program for the National American Women's Suffrage Association procession, showing woman, in elaborate attire, with cape, blowing long horn, from which is draped a "votes for women" banner, on decorated horse, with U.S. Capitol in background.
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to order copies of this item
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions 
    SOURCE: Published in: American women : a Library of Congress guide for the study of women's history and culture in the United States / edited by Sheridan Harvey ... [et al.]. Washington : Library of Congress, 2001, p. 32.
    REPOSITORY:   Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

  5. DESCRIPTION: 3 Women Picketing for Woman Suffrage in front of the White House
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: [ca. 1916]  
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to order copies of this item 
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions 
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 2054

  6. DESCRIPTION: Suffragettes - Mrs. Alice Burke and Nell Richardson in the suffrage automobile "Golden Flyer"  
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:   April 7, 1916
    NOTES:  Suffragettes - Mrs. Alice Burke and Nell Richardson in the suffrage automobile "Golden Flyer" in which drove from New York to San Francisco.
    REPRODUCTIONS:  How to order copies of this item 
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions 
    SOURCE: George Grantham Bain Collection
    REPOSITORY:   Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

  7. DESCRIPTION:   Women's suffrage procession in Washington D.C.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  March 3, 1913
    NOTES: Crowd grouped around a Red Cross Ambulance
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to order copies of this item
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions 
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

  8. DESCRIPTION:   Election Day!
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  c.1909
    NOTES: Political cartoon illustrating some of the fears associated with women getting the right to vote.
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to order copies of this item  
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

  9. DESCRIPTION: Pre-election parade for suffrage in N.Y.C.  
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: October 23, 1915  
    NOTES: 20,000 people marched in this parade
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to order copies of this item
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions
    SOURCE: George Grantham Bain Collection
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

  10. DESCRIPTION:  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  [between 1880 and 1902]
    NOTES: Portrait of the suffrage leaders.
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to order copies of this item 
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

  11. DESCRIPTION:  Representative women
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  c.1870
    NOTES: Lithograph of head-and-shoulders portraits of seven prominent figures of the suffrage and women's rights movement.
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to order copies of this item 
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

  12. DESCRIPTION:  Votes for women
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: c.1913
    NOTES: Postcard showing girl holding up finger to boy and poem: For the work of a day, for the taxes we pay, for the laws we obey, we want something to say.
    REPRODUCTIONSHow to order copies of this item 
    COPYRIGHT: Rights and Restrictions
    REPOSITORY:  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540

Additional Media Resources

Alice Paul's Fight for Suffrage

American Women Homepage

History of Women's Suffrage (Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership)

One Hundred Years toward Suffrage: An Overview

The History Channel: History of Women's Suffrage in America

The National Women's Hall of Fame

Votes for Women: Selections from the National American Women's Suffrage Association, 1848-1921

Women's Suffrage

Women's Suffrage

Women's Suffrage: A Primary Source History of the Women's Rights Movement in America

Women's Suffrage Movement

Additional Instructional Resources 

Teaching With Documents Lesson Plan:Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment

Voices for Votes: Suffrage Strategies

Voting Rights for Women: Pro- and Anti-Suffrage

Women’s Equality: Changing Attitudes and Beliefs

Women's Suffrage

Women's Suffrage: Why the West First?

"Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less" The Suffrage Movement from 1840-1920

Secondary Resources

Bausum, Ann. With Courage and Cloth: Winning the fight for a Women's Right to Vote. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2004.

Behling, Laura. The Masculine Woman in America, 1890-1935. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001.

Crawford, Elizabeth. The Woman's Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide, 1866-1928. New York: Routledge, 2001.

DuBois, Ellen Carol. Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women's Movement in America, 1848-1869. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999.

Finnegan, Mary Margaret. Selling Suffrage: Consumer Culture and Votes for Women. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999.

Frost-Knappman, Elizabeth. Women's Suffrage in America. New York: Facts on File, 2005.

Haesly, Richard. Women's Suffrage. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2003.

Helmer, Diana Star. Women Suffragists. New York, NY : Facts on File, 1998.

Lumsden, Linda. Rampant Women: Suffragists and the Right of Assembly. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1997.

McCammon, Holly J. "Out of the Parlors and Into the Streets: The Changing Tactical Repetoire of the U.S. Women's Suffrage Movement" Social Forces 2003 81(3): 787-818.

Nash, Carol Rust. The Fight for Women's Right to Vote in American History. Springfield, NJ : Enslow Publishers, 1998.

Sharer, Wendy. Vote and Voice: Women's Organizations and Political Literacy, 1915-1930. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press, 2004.

Sullivan, George. The Day the Women Got the Vote: A Photo History of the Women's Rights Movement. New York: Scholastic, 1994

Swain, Gwenyth. The Road to Seneca Falls : A Story About Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Minneapolis : Carolrhoda Books, 1996.

Ward, Geoffrey. Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. New York: A.A. Knopf, 1999.

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Katie Duncan.

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© Copyright, Maryland State Archives, May 04, 2005