The U.S. girls’s suffrage motion that formally started on the Seneca Falls Conference in 1848 reached its apotheosis within the halls of Congress on today in 1920: The Senate joined the Home in approving the Nineteenth Modification, securing the correct to vote no matter gender. Thus, today marks the ultimate victory in a authorized problem that lasted seven a long time.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (who helped manage the Seneca Falls Conference) and Susan B. Anthony wrote the modification in 1878. They waited because the Senate ignored it after which, after stalling for 9 years, rejected it. They re-introduced it in 1914, 1915, 1918, and early 1919; every time Congress voted it down. In the meantime, nevertheless, Mary Chapman Catt was working one other angle, convincing state legislatures to institute girls’s suffrage legal guidelines. In consequence, fifteen states handed such legal guidelines, priming the pump of assist for the Constitutional Modification.
The impression of this modification can hardly be measured. It absolutely enfranchised girls whose fathers and brothers and husbands may vote. It countenanced girls’s want to observe democracy past the home sphere. It gave girls direct, moderately than symbolic, entry to representational authorities, the correct to be represented and to characterize themselves, opening alternative for feminine management in any respect ranges.
For a lot of girls the Nineteenth Modification didn’t instantly result in entry to a poll. Most black girls — and males — nonetheless couldn’t vote as a result of, regardless of the Fifteenth and now Nineteenth Amendments, their rights had been suppressed by Jim Crow legal guidelines. However, as a landmark authorized victory, the Nineteenth Modification wedged a foot within the door of common suffrage.
Encouragement from Exemplars: The seven a long time of authorized challenges and protests it took for girls to safe the correct to vote are a reminder not solely that the arc of historical past is lengthy, to paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but in addition that it typically doesn’t appear to bend in the direction of justice. The wrestle requires religion.
Identify some points you care about that appear to be stymied by overpowering opposition. Nurture your self with the instance of the suffragettes, discovering encouragement of their tenacity and supreme triumph.
Rock the Vote: Watch this Schoolhouse Rock video and take its joyous democratic vitality out into the streets. Register to vote (if you have not already), and examine that you’re registered within the correct district. Encourage others to do the identical.