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19de wysiging - Definisie, deurgang en opsomming

19de wysiging - Definisie, deurgang en opsomming



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Die 19de wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet verleen aan Amerikaanse vroue die stemreg, 'n reg wat as stemreg vir vroue bekend staan, en is op 18 Augustus 1920 bekragtig, met 'n einde van byna 'n eeu protes. In 1848 het die beweging vir vroueregte op nasionale vlak begin met die Seneca Falls -konvensie, georganiseer deur Elizabeth Cady Stanton en Lucretia Mott. Na die byeenkoms het die vraag na stemming 'n middelpunt van die vroueregtebeweging geword. Stanton en Mott, saam met Susan B. Anthony en ander aktiviste, het die publiek bewus gemaak en die regering beywer om stemreg aan vroue toe te staan. Na 'n lang stryd het hierdie groepe uiteindelik as oorwinnaars uit die stryd getree met die verloop van die 19de wysiging.

Ondanks die aanvaarding van die wysiging en die dekades lange bydraes van swart vroue om stemreg te behaal, het meningsbelasting, plaaslike wette en ander beperkings steeds die kleur van vroue van kleur verhinder. Swart mans en vroue het ook tydens die stembus intimidasie en dikwels gewelddadige opposisie ondervind of probeer om te registreer om te stem. Dit sal meer as 40 jaar neem voordat alle vroue stemgeregtigheid bereik.

Vrouestemreg

Gedurende die vroeë geskiedenis van Amerika is vroue van die basiese regte wat manlike burgers geniet, ontneem.

Getroude vroue kon byvoorbeeld nie eiendom besit nie en het geen regsaanspraak op geld wat hulle sou verdien nie, en geen vrou het stemreg nie. Daar word van vroue verwag om op huiswerk en moederskap te fokus, nie op politiek nie.

Die veldtog vir stemreg vir vroue was 'n klein maar groeiende beweging in die dekades voor die burgeroorlog. Vanaf die 1820's het verskillende hervormingsgroepe in die VSA toegeneem, insluitend matigheidsligas, die afskaffingsbeweging en godsdienstige groepe. Vroue het 'n prominente rol in 'n aantal van hulle gespeel.

Intussen weerstaan ​​baie Amerikaanse vroue die idee dat die ideale vrou 'n vrome, onderdanige vrou en 'n moeder is wat uitsluitlik met die huis en die gesin te doen het. Saam het hierdie faktore bygedra tot 'n nuwe manier van dink oor wat dit beteken om 'n vrou en 'n burger in die Verenigde State te wees.

LEES MEER: 'N Tydlyn van die stryd om die stemreg van alle vroue

Seneca Falls -konvensie

Eers in 1848 het die beweging vir vroueregte op nasionale vlak begin organiseer.

In Julie daardie jaar het die hervormers Elizabeth Cady Stanton en Lucretia Mott die eerste vroueregtekonvensie in Seneca Falls, New York (waar Stanton gewoon het) gereël. Meer as 300 mense-meestal vroue, maar ook sommige mans-het dit bygewoon, waaronder die voormalige Afro-Amerikaanse slaaf en aktivis Frederick Douglass.

Benewens hul oortuiging dat vroue beter geleenthede vir onderwys en werk moet kry, was die meeste afgevaardigdes by die Seneca Falls -konvensie dit eens dat Amerikaanse vroue outonome individue is wat hul eie politieke identiteit verdien.

Gevoelensverklaring

'N Groep afgevaardigdes onder leiding van Stanton het 'n "Declaration of Sentiments" -dokument opgestel, na die onafhanklikheidsverklaring, wat lui: "Ons beskou hierdie waarhede as vanselfsprekend: dat alle mans en vroue gelyk geskape is; dat hulle deur hul Skepper sekere onvervreembare regte toegerus word; dat onder hulle lewe, vryheid en die strewe na geluk is. ”

Wat dit onder meer beteken, was dat die afgevaardigdes geglo het dat vroue stemreg moet hê.

Na die konvensie is die idee van stemreg vir vroue in die pers bespot en sommige afgevaardigdes het hul steun vir die sentimentverklaring teruggetrek. Nietemin het Stanton en Mott volgehou - hulle het voortgegaan met die leiding van bykomende konferensies oor vroueregte en hulle is uiteindelik aangesluit by hul voorspraakwerk deur Susan B. Anthony en ander aktiviste.

KYK: Susan B. Anthony en die lang stoot vir vrouestemreg

Nasionale stemreggroepe gestig

Met die aanvang van die burgeroorlog het die stemregbeweging momentum verloor, aangesien baie vroue hul aandag gevestig het op hulpverlening met betrekking tot die konflik tussen die state.

Na die oorlog het die stemreg vir vroue nog 'n terugslag beleef toe die vroueregtebeweging verdeeld was oor die kwessie van stemreg vir swart mans. Stanton en 'n paar ander kiesersleiers het beswaar aangeteken teen die voorgestelde 15de wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet, wat swart mans stemreg sou gee, maar kon nie dieselfde voorreg aan Amerikaanse vroue van enige velkleur gee nie.

In 1869 stig Stanton en Anthony die National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) met die oog op 'n federale grondwetlike wysiging wat vroue die stemreg sal verleen.

Dieselfde jaar het die afskaffingskundiges Lucy Stone en Henry Blackwell die American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) gestig; die groep se leiers ondersteun die 15de wysiging en vrees dat dit nie sal slaag as dit stemreg vir vroue insluit nie. (Die 15de wysiging is in 1870 bekragtig.)

Die AWSA het geglo dat vroue se bevoegdheid die beste verkry kan word deur wysigings aan individuele staatsgrondwette. Ondanks die verdeeldheid tussen die twee organisasies, was daar 'n oorwinning vir stemreg in 1869 toe die Wyoming -gebied alle vroulike inwoners van 21 jaar en ouer die stemreg verleen het. (Toe Wyoming in 1890 tot die Unie toegelaat word, was die stemreg vir vroue deel van die staatsgrondwet.)

Teen 1878 het die NWSA en die kollektiewe stemregbeweging genoeg invloed ingesamel om die Amerikaanse kongres te steun vir 'n grondwetlike wysiging. Die kongres het gereageer deur komitees in die Huis van Verteenwoordigers en die Senaat te stig om die kwessie te bestudeer en te debatteer. Toe die voorstel uiteindelik in 1886 die vloer van die senaat bereik, is dit egter verslaan.

In 1890 het die NWSA en die AWSA saamgesmelt om die National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) te vorm. Die strategie van die nuwe organisasie was om staats-vir-staat te steun vir die stemreg van vroue. Binne ses jaar het Colorado, Utah en Idaho wysigings aangeneem in hul staatsgrondwette wat vroue die reg gee om te stem. In 1900, met die toenemende ouderdom van Stanton en Anthony, stap Carrie Chapman Catt op om NAWSA te lei.

Swart vroue in die stemregbeweging

Tydens die debat oor die 15de wysiging het blanke suffragisteleiers soos Stanton en Anthony heftig aangevoer dat swart mans die stem voor wit vroue sou kry. So 'n standpunt het gelei tot 'n breuk met hul afskaffingsgenote, soos Douglass, en het die uiteenlopende standpunte en doelwitte van swart vroue geïgnoreer, onder leiding van prominente aktiviste soos Sojourner Truth en Frances EW Harper, wat saam met hulle om die stemreg veg.

Namate die stryd om stemreg voortduur, het swart vroue in die stemregbeweging steeds diskriminasie ondervind van blanke kiesers wat hul stryd om stemreg wou distansieer van die kwessie van ras.

Swart kiesers het hul eie groepe gestig, waaronder die National Association of Colored Women Clubs (NACWC), wat in 1896 gestig is deur 'n groep vroue, waaronder Harper, Mary Church Terrell en Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Hulle het hard baklei vir die deurvaarding van die 19de wysiging, en beskou die stemreg van vroue as 'n belangrike hulpmiddel om regsbeskerming vir swart vroue (sowel as swart mans) teen voortgesette onderdrukking en geweld te wen.

LEES MEER: 5 Swart suffragiste wat vir die 19de wysiging geveg het

Sukses op staatsvlak vir stemreg

Die begin van die 20ste eeu het 'n hernude momentum in die stemreg vir vroue gebring. Alhoewel die dood van Stanton in 1902 en Anthony in 1906 'n terugslag blyk te wees, het NASWA onder leiding van Catt 'n deurslaggewende sukses behaal vir die bevoegdheid van vroue op staatsvlak.

Tussen 1910 en 1918 het die Alaska Territory, Arizona, Arkansas, Kalifornië, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota en Washington stemreg uitgebrei tot vroue.

Gedurende hierdie tyd, deur die Equality League of Self-Supporting Women (later die Women's Political Union), het Stanton se dogter Harriot Stanton Blatch parades, pickets en optogte ingestel om die aandag op die saak te vestig. Hierdie taktiek het daarin geslaag om bewustheid te verhoog en het gelei tot onrus in Washington, DC

Protes en vordering















Op die vooraand van die inhuldiging van president Woodrow Wilson in 1913 het betogers 'n massiewe stemregsparade in die land se hoofstad opgedoen en honderde vroue is beseer. In dieselfde jaar stig Alice Paul die Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, wat later die National Woman's Party geword het.

Die organisasie het talle betogings gehou en onder meer militante taktieke gereeld die Withuis gepiket. As gevolg van hierdie optrede is sommige groeplede gearresteer en tronkstraf uitgedien.

In 1918 verander president Wilson sy standpunt oor die stemreg van vroue van beswaar na ondersteuning deur die invloed van Catt, wat 'n minder strydlustige styl as Paul gehad het. Wilson het die voorgestelde stemregswysiging ook gekoppel aan die betrokkenheid van Amerika in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog en die toenemende rol wat vroue in die oorlogspogings gespeel het.

Toe die wysiging ter stemming kom, spreek Wilson die senaat toe ten gunste van stemreg. Soos berig in Die New York Times op 1 Oktober 1918 het Wilson gesê: "Ek beskou die uitbreiding van stemreg tot vroue as uiters noodsaaklik vir die suksesvolle vervolging van die groot oorlog van die mensdom waarin ons betrokke is."

Ondanks Wilson se nuutgevonde steun, het die wysigingsvoorstel in die Senaat met twee stemme misluk. Nog 'n jaar het verloop voordat die kongres weer die maatreël aangeneem het.

LEES MEER: Die vroue wat vir die stemming geveg het

Die finale stryd

Op 21 Mei 1919 stel die Amerikaanse verteenwoordiger James R. Mann, 'n Republikein van Illinois en voorsitter van die verkiesingskomitee, die resolusie van die huis voor om die Susan Anthony -wysiging goed te keur wat vroue stemreg gee. Die maatreël het die Huis 304 teen 89 aanvaar-'n volle 42 stemme bo die vereiste tweederdemeerderheid.

Twee weke later, op 4 Junie 1919, het die Amerikaanse senaat die 19de wysiging met twee stemme aangeneem oor sy vereiste meerderheid van twee derdes, 56-25. Die wysiging is daarna vir bekragtiging aan die state gestuur.

Binne ses dae na die bekragtigingsiklus het Illinois, Michigan en Wisconsin elk die wysiging bekragtig. Kansas, New York en Ohio het gevolg op 16 Junie 1919. Teen Maart van die daaropvolgende jaar het altesaam 35 state die wysiging goedgekeur, net skugter vir die driekwart wat nodig is vir bekragtiging.

Suidelike state was egter sterk teen die wysiging, en sewe van hulle - Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Suid -Carolina en Virginia - het dit reeds verwerp voor Tennessee se stemming op 18 Augustus 1920. Dit was aan Tennessee om tip die skaal vir vroulike stemreg.

Die vooruitsigte lyk donker, gegewe die uitkomste in ander suidelike state en gegewe die posisie van die staatswetgewers in Tennessee in hul gelykopstryd van 48-48. Die staat se besluit het neergekom op die 23-jarige verteenwoordiger Harry T. Burn, 'n Republikein van McMinn County, om die beslissende stem uit te bring.

Alhoewel Burn die wysiging teëgestaan ​​het, het sy ma hom oortuig om dit goed te keur. Volgens berig het mev. Burn aan haar seun geskryf: "Moenie vergeet om 'n goeie seun te wees nie en help mevrou Catt om die 'rot' te bekragtig."

Met Burn se stem is die 19de wysiging volledig bekragtig.

LEES MEER: Hoe Amerikaanse vrouestemreg tot die stem van een man gekom het

Wanneer het vroue die reg gekry om te stem?

Op 26 Augustus 1920 is die 19de wysiging deur die Amerikaanse minister van buitelandse sake, Bainbridge Colby, gesertifiseer en het vroue uiteindelik die gesogte stemreg in die Verenigde State behaal.

Op 2 November van dieselfde jaar het meer as 8 miljoen vroue regoor die VSA vir die eerste keer in verkiesings gestem.

Die oorblywende 12 state het meer as 60 jaar geneem om die 19de wysiging te bekragtig. Mississippi was die laaste wat dit op 22 Maart 1984 gedoen het.

Wat is die 19 -wysiging?

Die 19de wysiging het vroue stemreg gegee en lui:

“Die reg van burgers van die Verenigde State om te stem, mag nie deur die Verenigde State of deur enige staat ontken of verkort word nie weens seks. Die kongres het die bevoegdheid om hierdie artikel deur toepaslike wetgewing af te dwing. ”


Negentiende wysiging

Die negentiende wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet lui:

Die reg van burgers van die Verenigde State om te stem, mag nie deur die Verenigde State of enige staat ontken of verkort word nie weens seks. Die kongres het die bevoegdheid om hierdie artikel deur toepaslike wetgewing af te dwing.

Die negentiende wysiging is in 1920 uitgevaardig, na 'n stryd van 70 jaar onder leiding van die stemregbeweging vir vroue.

Die grondslag vir die stemregbeweging is in 1848 gelê in Seneca Falls, New York, wat nou beskou word as die geboorteplek van die vrouebeweging. Hier het Elizabeth Cady Stanton die Verklaring van Regte en Sentimente opgestel, wat stemreg, eiendomsreg, opvoedingsgeleenthede en ekonomiese billikheid vir vroue vereis.

In plaas van die moeilike taak om goedkeuring te verkry vir 'n wysiging van die Amerikaanse grondwet van 'n manlike kongres wat met die kwessie van slawerny besig was, het die suffragiste besluit om hul aandag op die afsonderlike state te vestig en grondwetlike wysigings van die staat te soek. Die staat-vir-staat-poging het in 1867 in Kansas begin met 'n referendum om vroue te bevoordeel. Die referendum is verslaan, maar dieselfde jaar het die westelike gebiede van Wyoming en Utah die eerste oorwinnings vir die suffragiste gelewer.

Die beweging het daarna 'n reeks terugslae gely wat begin het in Januarie 1878 toe die wysiging van stemreg die eerste keer in die kongres ingevoer is. Die volle senaat het die wysiging eers in 1887 oorweeg en gestem om die wetsontwerp te verslaan. Die suffragiste het hul staat-vir-staat-strategie voortgesit en 'n referendumstem in 1893 en Idaho in 1896 gewen.

Die suffragiste het 'n finale en beslissende rit in die tweede dekade van die 1900's behaal met oorwinnings in Washington in 1910 en Kalifornië in 1911. Die jaar daarna het Arizona, Kansas en Oregon vroue die stemreg gegee, en in 1913 het Illinois ook maatreëls getref stemreg, net soos Montana en Nevada in 1914. Vroue in elf state het tydens die presidensiële verkiesing van 1916 gestem. Teen hierdie tyd was die Verenigde State ook betrokke by die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, wat nasionale aandag gevestig het op die stemregbeweging sowel as op die belangrike rol wat vroue in die oorlogspoging gespeel het. Tydens die oorlog het 'n ongekende aantal vroue by die uitgeputte nywerheids- en staatsdiensmag aangesluit. Vroue het 'n aktiewe en sigbare bevolking van die arbeidsektor geword wat die nasionale ekonomie bevoordeel het. Teen die einde van 1918 het nog vier state, Michigan, Oklahoma, New York en South Dakota, die stemreg vir vroue goedgekeur.

Met die nodige tweederde meerderheid het die Amerikaanse Huis van Verteenwoordigers die wysiging in Januarie 1918 ingedien. Die stemming is aanvanklik uitgestel en die wysiging is later in Oktober 1918 en weer in Februarie 1919 verslaan. Op 4 Junie 1919, byna 17 maande na die bekendstelling deur die Huis van Verteenwoordigers, is die wysiging uiteindelik deur die Senaat aanvaar. Nadat die state reeds 'n paar jaar lank die stemregkwessie oorweeg en gedebatteer het, het die state die wysiging vinnig bekragtig. In Augustus 1920 word Tennessee die ses en dertigste en laaste staat wat nodig is om die inwerkingtreding te bekragtig. Nadat die bekragtiging voltooi is, is die negentiende wysiging op 18 Augustus 1920 by die Amerikaanse grondwet gevoeg.

Verdere lesings

Brown, Jennifer K. 1993. & quotThe Nineteenth Amendment and Women's Equality. & Quot Yale Law Journal 102 (Junie).

Clift, Eleanor. 2003. Founding Sisters en die negentiende wysiging. Hoboken, N.J .: John Wiley & Sons.

Hillyard, Carrie. 1996. & quotThe History of Suffrage and Equal Rights Provisions in State Constitutions. & Quot BYU Journal of Public Law 10 (winter).

Lind, Joellen. 1994. & quotDominansie en demokrasie: die erfenis van vrouestemreg vir die stemreg. & Quot UCLA Women's Law Journal 5 (val).


Artikels met negentiende wysiging uit geskiedkundige tydskrifte

Ses goed geteelde vroue het op 27 Junie 1917 voor 'n regter gestaan ​​in die polisiehof in Washington, DC. Nie diewe, dronkaards of prostitute soos die gewone beskuldigdes daar nie; hulle het 'n universiteitstudent, 'n skrywer van verpleegboeke, 'n prominente veldtog ingesluit organiseerder en twee voormalige onderwysers. Almal was opgevoed, bekwaam en onbekend met kriminele aktiwiteite. Maar vandag staan ​​hulle beskuldig in die hof. Hul beweerde oortreding: ‘ hinderende verkeer.

Wat hulle eintlik gedoen het, was om rustig buite die Withuis te staan ​​en baniere te dra waarin president Woodrow Wilson aangemoedig word om hul dekades lange stryd om 'n sin by die Grondwet te voeg, te ondersteun: die reg van die burgers van die Verenigde State mag nie ontken of verkort word nie deur die Verenigde State of deur enige staat weens seks.

Die Susan B. Anthony -wysiging is in 1878 in die kongres ingedien. Daar lê dit vir amper 40 jaar met vrees en weersin. Sommiges het geen sin daarin gevind dat vroue stem sonder begrip van politiek nie; hulle sou net stem soos hulle mense vertel het. Ander het aangevoer dat vroue na die stemming die regering sou oorneem. Met so 'n teenkanting lyk dit asof die Anthony -wysiging gedoem is om vir ewig sluimerend te bly. Die ses beskuldigdes dat hulle die somerdag in 1917 die verkeer belemmer het, het alle aanklagte ontken en daarop aangedring dat die skare buite die Withuis net bymekaargekom het omdat die polisie aangekondig het dat arrestasies gemaak sou word. Boonop het piekery sedert Januarie aangegaan sonder om iets te belemmer en sonder inmenging. Dit was immers heeltemal wettig. Waarom die skielike ineenstorting nou?

Maar die regter verklaar dat die dames buite die Withuis die naaste oorsaak van die nuuskierige skare is, en moet die gevolge daarvan neem. Daarbenewens, het hy bygevoeg, is daar sekere mense wat glo dat julle nie die stem hoef te hê nie. Die regter was onder die indruk van die gevangenes se verweerde verdediging en het hulle skuldig bevind op aanklag en 'n boete van $ 25 of drie dae en#8217 gevangenisstraf opgelê. Omdat hulle geweier het om te betaal, wat hulle as skuld erken het, is hulle sonder berou na die gevangenis in Washington gelei.

Dié ses het daardie dag 'n bietjie geskiedenis gemaak. Almal was lede van die National Woman ’s Party (NWP). Hulle was die eerste van 'n lang optog van vroue wat in die tronk gestop is op grond van aanklagte slegs omdat hulle betoog het vir hul stemreg. NWP -lede kom van regoor die land en van alle vlakke van die samelewing, met min gemeen, behalwe toewyding om die reg te verkry. Dit was die uitsluitlike doel van die NWP, wie se dryfveer 'n vasberade jong vrou met die naam Alice Paul was.

Op 32 word Paulus algemeen bewonder as een van die waaghalsigste en verbeeldingrykste leiers wat die vrouebeweging ooit gesien het, en net so wyd veroordeel as 'n gevaarlike radikaal. Die dogter van Quakers in Moorestown, N.J., sy was klein, broos en saggeaard en amper 'n radikale beeld. Sy het nooit getrou nie, en het ook geen romantiese belangstelling in enige man of vrou getoon nie. Al haar energie was gekonsentreer op haar een obsessiewe passie: die politieke regte van vroue. Selfs haar naaste metgeselle het nooit beweer dat sy haar goed ken nie, maar tog het haar magnetisme hulle geïnspireer deur lojaliteit te vereer. Veldtogstrategie was haar sterkpunt, en sy het met so 'n militêre presisie beplan dat sommige haar met 'n generaal vergelyk het.

Paul het in Desember 1912 in Washington aangekom om die plaaslike kantoor van die National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), met sy hoofkwartier in New York, oor te neem. NAWSA was toegewy aan 'n staat-vir-staat benadering en het die hoofstad van die land so onbelangrik geag dat die Washington-kantoor se begroting vir 1912 $ 10 was. Daar word van Paul verwag om haar eie bedryfsfondse in te samel.

Saam met haar het haar hoofassistent Lucy Burns gekom. Lang, robuust en vlamhartig, op 38 was die in Brooklyn gebore Burns temperamentele teenoorgestelde van Paul, maar dit het mekaar perfek aangevul: Paul het die strategie van die agtergrond af gelei, terwyl Burns openbare demonstrasies gelei het.

In Maart 1913 begin Woodrow Wilson sy eerste termyn as president. Paul het sy steun as noodsaaklik beskou vir die oorsaak, maar vroue het blykbaar nie op hierdie president se agenda gestem nie. Herhaalde beroepe om sy steun aan die Anthony-wysiging is net so herhaaldelik ontduik, en Wilson beweer dat 'n president nie die Kongres moet probeer beïnvloed nie, maar moet die voorskrifte van sy party volg (die Demokratiese Party, toe gedomineer deur aarts-konserwatiewe Suidlanders). Vroue bespot dit, aangesien Wilson bekend was as 'n outokratiese president, en selfs op triviale aangeleenthede voortdurend invloed op die kongres uitoefen. Maar hoe meer hulle hom ingedruk het, hoe meer het hy verset, en die uitstel duur gedurende sy eerste ampstermyn.

Intussen het die in Washington gebaseerde Alice Paul-groep van NAWSA geskei in 'n fundamentele geskil oor strategie. NAWSA se konserwatiewe leierskap, toegewyd aan geduldige veldtogte van staat tot staat, minagtende optrede op federale vlak en betreur die taktiek van Paul as veels te aggressief. Paul het daarop aangedring dat die slakkeg, staat-vir-staat-benadering 'n vergeefse oorwinning was, maar slegs deur die Anthony-wysiging, en dat die kongres met 'n swak knie dit nooit sou slaag sonder die ondersteuning van die president nie. Na die breuk het die verontwaardigde ouerorganisasie soveel as moontlik afstand geneem van sy onstuimige nageslag.

Die hoofkwartier van die Washington -groep was die aantreklike Cameron House, wat uitkyk oor Lafayette Square, gerieflik naby die Withuis. Daar, op 9 Januarie 1917, is 'n noodlottige besluit geneem. Ure vroeër het president Wilson, wat onlangs vir 'n tweede termyn verkies is, op 'n besoekende stemregsafvaardiging uitgestap nadat hy woedend sy weiering om hul saak te onderskryf herhaal het. Hierdie mees brutale ontslag nog was die laaste strooi. Na jare van beleefde beroepe, was dit tyd vir direkte optrede. Die volgende oggend het 12 vroue wat baniere op lang pale dra, Cameron House verlaat en posisies ingeneem buite die Withuis se hekke. In hul beweging se tradisionele kleure-pers, wit en goud-het hul baniere geëis: MR. PRESIDENT, HOE LANK MOET VROUE WAG OP VRYHEID?

Hulle het elke dag teruggekeer, in mooi weer en in slegte weer, en het stilweg hierdie skerp vraag na die groot huis agter hulle gerig. Niemand het heeltemal geweet wat om te dink nie. Politieke optrede was in daardie dae ongewoon en deur vroue ongehoord. Sommige verbygangers het gekyk, sommige het kwaad bespot, ander was net geamuseerd. Die pers was skerp verdeeld. Die president het niks gesê nie. Oënskynlik ongestoord, glimlag hy soms en gooi sy hoed op die pikke terwyl sy limousine deur die Withuis se hekke ry. Vir lang uitmergelende weke was die grootste uitdaging vir vroue 'n winter wat so bitterlik koud was dat hande pyn en voete soos blokke ys voel.

In Maart 1917 het die organisasie van Alice Paul ’s by 'n geallieerde westerse groep aangesluit om die National Woman ’s Party te vorm, en Paul, oorweldigend verkies tot voorsitter, het nasionaal prominent geword. 'N Maand later betree die Verenigde State die Eerste Wêreldoorlog en het die NWP 'n groot krisis in die gesig gestaar.

By die uitbreek van die Burgeroorlog was die byna eenparige mening van die leiers van die vroue -beweging dat hulle hul werk moet staak totdat die vrede herstel is. Net Susan B. Anthony was dit nie eens nie, uit vrees dat die klein vordering wat hulle tot dan gemaak het, verlore sou gaan. Soos Alice Paul geweet het, was Anthony reg, en sy was vasbeslote dat die fout wat in die vroeëre tyd gemaak is, nie herhaal moet word nie.

Ons sal veg vir die dinge wat ons altyd in ons harte gedra het, het president Wilson gesê in sy oorlogsboodskap aan die kongres. Vir die reg van diegene wat hulle aan gesag onderwerp om 'n stem in hul eie regerings te hê. So sal ons, verklaar die vroue van die NWP, in Wilson se woorde 'n presiese beskrywing hoor van waarna hulle streef. Die betogings sal voortgaan.

Die openbare vyandigheid teenoor die kiesers het dramaties toegeneem. In plaas daarvan om net dom en onwaardig te wees, word hulle nou as onpatrioties bestempel en selfs as verraaiers. Sommige het onder die druk geval. Maar die moed van die NWP in die lig van vernedering het ook 'n bestendige stroom gretige rekrute geïnspireer. Die betogers het 'n eienaardige soort toeriste -aantreklikheid in Washington geword, voorwerpe van bewondering, nuuskierigheid en#8212 of verontwaardiging. Hulle was so stil en ordelik dat die koerante hulle die stille wagte genoem het. Maar hulle het die aandag getrek en heeltemal die punt in die oë van meesterstrateeg Alice Paul.

Die beleg van die Withuis het vyf maande lank voortgegaan, terwyl die kongres, onder beheer van die Demokrate, geweier het om sonder die woord van die president op te tree. Tog bly Wilson stil. Uiteindelik, einde Junie, het die dooiepunt gebreek. Openbare woede het uitgebars en die administrasie se geduld het uitgebreek toe NWP -plakkate 'n banier oplig wat baie kritiek op Wilson was toe 'n Russiese afvaardiging die Withuis besoek. 'N Vyandige skare het die banier afgeruk, en die volgende oggend het Lucy Burns en nog 'n vrou die eerste kiesers geword wat in 'n polisiewa weggejaag is. Hulle is berispe oor hul gedrag en word vrygelaat in afwagting van verhoor, en nog vier het dieselfde behandeling ontvang. Binne 'n paar dae is die ses vroue skuldig bevind op die aanklagte van verkeershindernisse en het hulle drie dae in die tronk deurgebring, en die eerste suffragiste is weens hul saak opgesluit. Dit was maar net die begin. Vroeg in Julie is 11 vroue, insluitend Lucy Burns —, tronk toe gestuur. Twee weke later was 16 vroue verstom om 60 dae vonnisse te kry, en nie in die DC-gevangenis nie, maar die meer gevreesde Workhouse for Women in Occoquan, Va.

Maar die kiesers het hul regskampioene, prokureurs wat deeglik daarvan bewus was dat betoging heeltemal binne die regte van enige burger was, en dat die arrestasies blatant onwettig was. Een hiervan, Dudley Field Malone, versamelaar van die Port of New York, was 'n vriend van die president. As advokaat vir die NWP het Malone met Wilson aangevoer teen die Occoquan -vonnisse en gedreig om uit protes te bedank. Hy het, soos baie ander, geglo dat Wilson die agteruitgang van agter die skerms regeer. Wilson het beweer dat hy niks weet nie, maar 'n paar dae later is alle suffragiste by Occoquan skielik begenadig. Malone is gedeeltelik verswak en keer terug na New York, maar daar sal weer van hom gehoor word.

Middel Augustus het meer probleme ontstaan, toe kiesers 'n banier oopvou wat na die president verwys as Kaiser Wilson. Kongreslede het dikwels die outokratiese Wilson genoem wat, of erger nog, maar dit in die openbaar gedoen het, te midde van 'n heftige, anti-Duitse sentiment in die oorlog, die geweld van die menigte aangesteek het. Die vroue kon twee dae lank nie hul voete buite Cameron House sit sonder om fisies aangerand te word nie. Aanvallers het na die balkon op die tweede verdieping geklim, met verdedigers worstel en baniere afgesny. 'N Skoot is deur 'n venster geskiet, waar een van die vroue binne -in die buurt vermis is. Nadat die polisie twee dae passief na die geveg gekyk het, het die polisie uiteindelik die orde herstel. Die volgende dag is die arrestasies van die plukers hervat. Nog ses vroue ontvang 30 dae in Occoquan — en hierdie keer sou daar geen vergifnis wees nie.

Nog ses weke vol spanning is arrestasies en skuldigbevindings op die deursigtige vals belemmerende verkeersheffing voortgesit, terwyl die ongelukkige gevangenes 30 tot 60 dae in Occoquan ontvang het. Tog het vroue aanhou kies, en vroeg in September het Lucy Burns en 11 ander daar 60 dae vonnisse opgelê. Dit was haar tweede keer agter tralies. Dudley Field Malone voer nou sy dreigement uit om te bedank oor die gebruik van sulke onderdrukkende metodes deur die administrasie, wat opslae maak en sy reeds gespanne vriendskap met Wilson beëindig. Daarna sou Malone en die advokaat van Washington, Matthew O ’Brien, 'n formidabele regspan uitmaak vir die NWP.

Ondanks die rustige, landelike omgewing, is die werkhuis by Occoquan soos 'n konsentrasiekamp bestuur deur sy superintendent, William Whittaker. Sy naam het skrik by alle gevangenes getref, maar die supragistiese kiesers het sy spesiale vyandigheid gewek-hier was opgevoede vroue, wat doelbewus betrokke was by wat hy as onredelik beskou het.

Binnekort, in weerwil van die Whittaker -beleid om sy gevangenes se kontak met die buitewêreld te onderdruk, begin daar gruwelverhale uit Occoquan lek, hoofsaaklik in die vorm van gekrabbel boodskappe, slim aan die buitekant gesmokkel. Die ergste ellende was die kos, het 'n gevangene geskryf wat galsterige vleis, mieliebrood met skimmel, korrels met wurms, rotmis en dooie vlieë beskryf. Ons het probeer om die wurmjag te beoefen, 'n ander aangemeld, maar toe een gevangene vyftien wurms bereik tydens 'n maaltyd, het dit ons lus vir die wild bederf. Daar was geen sanitasie nie, en die vroue is in intieme kontak gedwing met gereelde gevangenes wat, hoewel dit duidelik aan aansteeklike siektes ly, geen mediese aandag gekry het nie. Vir baie was die ergste straf die byna totale isolasie. Selfs hul prokureurs het selde ingekom, en dan slegs onder streng beperkings.

Gewapen met beëdigde verklarings van voormalige gevangenes en werknemers, het advokaat Malone 'n ondersoek geëis om die vrot, vuil, verdorwe toestande by Occoquan onder sy huidige superintendent bloot te lê. Maar die ondersoekraad het Whittaker slegs vrygespreek en alle klagtes op oproerige gevangenes blameer. Whittaker was vir eers seëvierend.

Eens tydens 'n polisiehofverhoor skud 'n regeringsadvokaat sy vinger na Alice Paul en sê: Ons sal jou nog nie verstaan ​​nie. Alhoewel sy tot dan toe die gevegstrategie van agter die skerms gelei het, was hy seker dat die generaal vroeër of later sou uitgaan om haar troepe te lei en gevange geneem te word. Dit het gebeur in Oktober 1917, toe Paul twee keer in twee weke van die piklyn afgetrek is en met die swaarste vonnis tot dusver in die DC -gevangenis geslaan is.

Daar het sy en haar metgeselle swaarkry ondervind wat met Occoquan en geen privaatheid verstikkende, oorvol, ongedierte selle teenstaan ​​nie, wat 'n byna honger dieet veroorsaak het, wat hulle byna te swak laat staan ​​het om naby totale isolasie te staan. Die voorregte wat gereelde gevangenes geniet, is deur die suffragiste geweier. Washington se bewaarder Louis Zinkhan het blykbaar meegeding met Occoquan's Whittaker om die titel Most Ferocious.

Die suffragiste was reeds deur hul tronkbewaarders afgemaak as moeilikheidmakers en verraaiers, en maak hulle verder woedend deur politieke status van gevangenes te eis. Hulle eis minagtend van die hand gewys; hulle het gou 'n vorm van weerstand bedink wat nie so maklik geïgnoreer kon word nie. Die oomblik van besluit kom, soos Alice Paul dit vertel:

Aan die einde van twee weke van eensame opsluiting … sonder enige oefening, sonder om buite ons selle te gaan, is sommige van die gevangenes vrygelaat, nadat hulle hul termyn voltooi het. mag oefen. Rose Winslow het flou geword sodra sy in die tuin kom en ek was te swak om uit my bed te beweeg. Rose and I were taken on stretchers that night to the hospital….Here we decided upon…the ultimate form of protest left us — the strongest weapon left with which to continue…our battle….

Their ultimate form of protest was the hunger strike. Having worked with English suffragists some years before, Paul knew from painful experience what terrors lay in that direction: From the moment we undertook the hunger strike, a policy of unremitting intimidation began. `You will be taken to a very unpleasant place if you don’t stop this,’ was a favorite threat of prison officials, as they would hint vaguely of the psychiatric ward, and the government insane asylum. Particularly frightening was examination by the alienist (a specialist in mental disorders), whose word was enough to commit anyone to the asylum.

Seriously weakened after three days of refusing food, Paul was taken to the psychiatric ward and subjected, along with some of her companions, to force-feeding three times daily. Between those feedings she endured solitary confinement in a tiny cell with boarded-up windows. This frail woman was, after all, the power behind the suffrage demonstrations. To crush them required breaking her spirit — and clearly, the authorities meant to break it.

But the government’s heavy-handed tactics only made matters worse. As reports of the prisoners’ experiences emerged, angry women flocked to Washington from across the country to join the fight and continue the picketing. In mid-November, 30 more demonstrators, drawing sentences ranging from six days to six months, were shipped to Occoquan. Grimly awaiting them was Superintendent Whittaker. Once, accused by a suffragist prisoner of practicing cruelty, he readily admitted, Very well, I am willing to practice cruelty. His November 14 welcome for his latest group of picketers would live in NWP memory as the infamous Night of Terror.

On Whittaker’s order, one woman wrote later, I was immediately seized by two heavy guards, dragged across the room, scattering chairs and furniture as I went…so fast that my feet could not touch the ground…to the punishment cells, where I was flung into a concrete cell with an iron-barred door.

I saw Dorothy Day brought in, wrote Mary Nolan, at 73 the oldest of the suffragist prisoners. The two men handling her were twisting her arms above her head. Then suddenly they lifted her up and banged her down over the arm of an iron bench — twice…and we heard one of them yell, `The damned suffrager!’

The feisty Lucy Burns, returning for the third time, got special treatment. Disobeying Whittaker’s order to keep silent, she was handcuffed to the bars of her cell. Finally released from this torturous position, she was left handcuffed all night. But all this, and a near-sleepless night shivering on thin straw mattresses, only made the suffragers more defiant. They launched their own hunger strike. Undertaking Alice Paul’s ultimate form of protest took courage. One faster described nausea and headaches, fever and dizziness, dry, peeling skin and swollen lips, and eventually, aphasia.

I could remember no names, she wrote, and it was quite impossible to read. Many hallucinated and often fainted. To crush the strike, prison officials tried everything from dire threats to tempting the strikers with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings. Nothing worked. After seven days, the fasters were dangerously weak. There was no escaping it — forced feeding was next. And facing that took the last ounce of courage they had left. One prisoner reported, I was seized and laid on my back, where five people held me, [one] leaping upon my knees….Dr. Gannon then forced the tube through my lips and down my throat, I was gasping and suffocating from the agony of it. I didn’t know where to breathe from, and everything turned black….

A Washington prisoner later recalled:

Three times a day for fourteen days Alice Paul and Rose Winslow have been going through the torture of forcible feeding. I know what that torture is. The horrible griping and gagging of swallowing six inches of stiff rubber tubing-[it] is not to be imagined. That over, there is the ordeal of waiting while the liquids are poured through-then the withdrawal of that tube! With streaming eyes and parched, burning throat, one wonders how the people of this nation already tasting blood and pain can let this be done….

The prisoners endured their punishment with unwavering resolve, but they were near collapse. If they meant to win or die, it seemed increasingly likely that dying would be their fate. But far away, the tide of their desperate war was turning, thanks to the NWP lawyers working overtime for the prisoners. Dudley Malone concentrated on the Washington jail, while Matthew O’Brien took on Occoquan, and their labors were producing results. Forcing their way into the prisons with court orders, both were outraged at what they found. In Washington, Alice Paul languished in a hellhole on the psychiatric ward, despite a clean bill of mental health from the alienist. The irate Malone demanded, and got, her prompt removal to the main jail. At Occoquan, O’Brien obtained a writ of habeas corpus ordering Superintendent Whittaker to produce all his suffragist prisoners for a hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Alexandria, Va. Whittaker tried frantically to evade the writ-even hiding out in his own home in vain. The hearing was held November 23 and 24 before a packed house, including newspaper reporters from far and wide.

Both attorneys argued eloquently for justice for Americans who, as O’Brien declared, were railroaded to Occoquan, where unspeakable brutalities occurred, for the sole purpose of terrorizing them and compelling them to desist from doing what…they have every legal right to do.

The sympathetic judge called the testimony given on the prisoners’ behalf blood-curdling. But more compelling than any evidence was the appearance of the prisoners themselves. Haggard, pale and disoriented, many with ugly bruises sustained during the Night of Terror, some barely able to walk or sit upright, their condition sent a wave of shocked disbelief throughout the courtroom. The sight of those mistreated women, vividly reported in newspapers, clinched their case. The judge ordered the prisoners’ immediate transfer to the Washington jail pending further review — and the grim conflict took a startling turn.

For months the government had gone to extremes — even breaking the law — to suppress the picketing. But the movement only grew stronger as public opinion shifted toward the women. Clearly, the policy was not working. Perhaps in recognition of this, three days after the Alexandria hearing-and with no explanations-all suffragist prisoners were abruptly released.

On November 27, emerging from the jail to blink in the sunlight after five weeks of living death, Alice Paul could not stand without assistance. But her indomitable will was intact as she declared, We were put out of jail as we were put in — at the whim of the government. She hoped that no more demonstrations will be necessary, that the Federal Amendment is well on its way, but added, What we do depends on what the Government does.

Things were peaceful along the White House sidewalks that Christmas season. The picketers were gone, the former prisoners having retreated to heal their wounds. It was only a truce: They would be back soon to continue the fight. Several developments that took place in early 1918 were morale boosters. On January 10 — 40 years to the day since it was introduced into Congress — the Anthony Amendment was passed by the House of Representatives. In March the District Court of Appeals overturned as illegal all the arrests and jailings of the suffragists. And soon afterward — going almost unnoticed except by his former victims — William Whittaker’s tenure as superintendent of the Occoquan workhouse was abruptly terminated.

Nevertheless, a long road lay ahead before the ultimate victory on August 26, 1920, when the Anthony Amendment finally took effect as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. But for many who lived through it, the climatic battle took place in the fall of 1917, when Alice Paul and her courageous, half-starved band laid their lives on the line to defy a repressive government-and the government backed down.

This article was written by William and Mary Lavender and appeared in the October 2003 issue of Amerikaanse geskiedenis Magazine. For more great articles, subscribe to Amerikaanse geskiedenis tydskrif vandag!


The Impact of the 19th Amendment

Susan: "They propose to do away with vice and immorality, to prevent the social evil by giving women remunerative employment to forbid the sale of spirituous liquors and tobacco, and to teach men a higher and nobler life than the one they now follow."

-Interview with Susan B. Anthony, The New Northwest (Portland, Oregon), November 24, 1871

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During the long fight to secure the ballot for women, many suffrage advocates argued that the women voters would fundamentally transform politics, bringing an end to corruption, policies to address social ills like poverty and violence, and even world peace. Such was their optimism that suffragist Anna Howard Shaw declared “once women vote…there will not be such a need of charity and philanthropy!” Others at the time were less sanguine, predicting political and societal collapse. Women’s suffrage undermined the natural order of the family, and “Government subverted there, is overthrown everywhere,” warned clergyman Robert Afton Holland.

Yet, no sooner had women began entering polling places in 1920 than observers began declaring women’s suffrage a “failure.” In what we might think of as a historical version of a Twitter hot-take, outlets ranging from Good Housekeeping (“Is Woman’s Suffrage a Failure?”) to Harper’s Magazine (“Is Woman-Suffrage a Failure?”) and The Century (“Are Women a Failure in Politics?”) addressed this claim in the early 1920s. In the words of journalist Frederick Lew Allen in 1931: “[The American woman] won the suffrage in 1920. She seemed, it is true, to be very little interested in it once she had it she voted, but mostly as the unregenerate men about her did.”

Allen had the facts right: Women did not initially take up their right to vote in the same numbers as men. When women did vote, their choices were little different from those of long-enfranchised men, a pattern many attributed to husbands telling their wives how to vote. Most of the more ambitious promises and warnings about women’s suffrage—both utopia and apocalypse—never materialized.

One hundred years later, we know a lot more about how women actually vote. Women are now more likely to turn out to vote than men. While husbands and wives still generally vote for the same candidates, few assume women take direction from their husbands. In fact, the most popular and persistent media narrative is that women are different in particular, more likely than to favor Democratic candidates. Given these (new) facts and the longer view, how should we evaluate the impact of the 19th Amendment? What did the 19th Amendment do?

The 19th Amendment did successfully eliminate sex as a requirement for voting. It did little, however, to undermine the extensive voting rights violations in the Jim Crow South that kept black women from the polls for decades. The 19th Amendment also did not directly address broader gender biases and imbalances—patriarchal family structures, unequal access to resources, gender discrimination—that constrained, and still constrain, women’s political power.

What the 19th Amendment did do was upend traditionally masculine conceptions of politics. The American constitutional order is grounded in a philosophical tradition in which politics is inherently a male enterprise. The characteristics we associate with politics—strength, ambition, dominance—are stereotypically male characteristics. Fulfilling the feminine ideal of purity, compassion, and deference required women to shun the dirty, debasing world of politics. By recognizing women as political actors, the 19th Amendment was a direct assault on traditional conceptions of femininity and masculinity, and on the presumption that politics is a man’s game.

Power is the sine qua non of politics. In the words of historian Ellen DuBois, suffrage reconfigured power relations between men and women “because it exposed and challenged the assumption of male authority over women.” Suffrage recognized women as capable of political interest, political knowledge, and most importantly, political power. Suffrage allowed for the possibility that women might have interests separate from those of men and that women might make decisions about representation in the pursuit of their own interests, as women themselves understood them. The effect reverberates through the generations: When young women, in particular, observe women in political roles they are more likely to imagine themselves as politically active in the future.

The 19th Amendment also transformed women’s place in the American political system. Before suffrage, women’s relationship to the state was largely indirect. In a system based on consent of the governed, women were originally understood to be Republican Mothers, whose role was to provide moral support to husbands performing their civic duties and to raise sons to be good citizens. By granting women access to the ballot, the 19th Amendment recognized women as political actors in their own, independent right. Women’s suffrage was thus a key step in a long, not always straightforward, process of political empowerment for women. And indeed, political equality, rather than some notion of a unified, or even progressive, female electorate, was the central goal of most suffragists.

This is not to say that women existed wholly outside of politics prior to 1920, not by a long shot. Historian Nancy Cott points out that looking for dramatic political change in the wake of women’s enfranchisement ignores the extent and ways in which women were politically active both before and after the “great divide” of 1920. Women were, among other things, effective and important activists for abolition, prohibition, labor, and progressivism, in addition to their own rights. Denied the opportunity to pursue their political interests as voters, women in the late 19th century helped invent interest group politics—organizing associations, influencing public opinion, lobbying elected officials, and campaigning for sympathetic candidates.

The ratification of the 19th Amendment in one sense recognized the influence and impact women already had, and added a new tool to women’s established arsenal. Some note the irony that the vote is in many ways a less powerful political weapon than the very sort of activism in which women were already engaged. Democratic theorist Carole Pateman argues that “periodic exercise of the franchise to choose national and local representatives at a time, on issues, and for candidates about which the elector has no choice is an exceedingly weak and minimal form of democratic participation compared with that in, say, the suffrage movement itself.” When we investigate the impact of women’s suffrage, we are fundamentally confronting both the potential and the limits of the vote as a mechanism for political change.

The extension of suffrage to women made the United States a more small-d democratic nation. The right of citizens to choose their own representatives in free and fair elections is central to any robust definition of democracy. The 19th Amendment represents the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history, and a great leap forward for American claims as a democratic exemplar. The struggle for and achievement of women’s suffrage benefited from and contributed to liberalizing pressures to expand suffrage in the U.S. and around the world. It was still just one step the standard of full and meaningful enfranchisement remained unmet in the U.S. until at least the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, and in important ways, remains a challenge today.

We also know now that early pessimism about the impact of women’s suffrage on public policy was misplaced. Scholars have credited women’s suffrage with providing the impetus for policy change in the 1920s, most notably the Shepard-Towner (1921) and Cable (1922) Acts pertaining to maternity/infant care and women’s independent citizenship, respectively. Yet conventional wisdom holds that attention to these issues generally ceased by the late 1920s, as politicians concluded that a women’s voting bloc had not materialized it is often noted, for example, that Congress failed to reauthorize Sheppard-Towner in 1929.

Contemporary social science, however, is challenging this view. Worldwide, the enactment of women’s suffrage is associated with an expansion of sosiaal welfare spending. In the United States, states that enacted women’s suffrage prior to 1920 experienced increases in the size of government, improved educational attainment and employment outcomes for the economically disadvantaged, including black Southerners, and a greater likelihood of liberal votingamong the state’s federal representatives. These policy shifts were consequential: Economist Grant Miller finds that states that enfranchised women increased their local public health spending dramatically, leading to an 8-15% decline in child mortality (

20,000 deaths) in those states before 1920. One hundred years later, we still have much to learn about the overlooked and misunderstood impacts of women’s suffrage on the public policy that shapes our lives.

The 19th Amendment sparked attention to issues expected to matter to women, expanded the political agenda, and transformed the framing of policy debates as politicians sought to appeal to women voters, and the press sought to cover them. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that for political impact, it matters less why or how women actually vote what matters more is what observers and politicians believe about why and how women vote. Arguably the central claim—echoed election after election—is that women are primarily motivated by women’s issues, such as abortion, sexual harassment, or equal pay, or issues related to their traditional roles as mothers, such as health and education. In the 1920s, presidential candidates emphasized child labor, Prohibition, and maternity and infant health in their appeals to new women voters. In the 21st century, appeals directed at women range from childcare and school choice to #MeToo and equal pay.

The policy impact of the 19th Amendment depends not only on what politicians think women want, but on whether they believe they need women’s votes. In 1920, Warren Harding and James Cox reached out to new women voters because they were perceived as up for grabs and potentially determinative. By the 1930s, when a women’s voting bloc failed to materialize, those appeals largely ceased. In the 1970s, when the women’s movement drew attention to the political interests of women and parties once again viewed women as a contested constituency, politicians again sought women’s votes with policy appeals. The passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (1973) as well as Title IX (1972), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (1974), and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978) soon followed. However, as the gender gap emerged in 1980, the parties increasingly sought out different groups of women voters. Women’s issues became increasingly polarized, the pace of policymaking slowed, and the meaning of the women’s vote was increasingly contested.

Efforts to shape the way we understand the women’s vote have consequences for women’s representation. When politicians and the press believe, for example, that soccer moms are the key female demographic, they focus their attention on the perceived interests of white, married, suburban moms, a portion of the female electorate which has never been large, is declining, and is not uniquely likely to decide elections. More importantly, a focus on soccer moms ignores the interests of women who are black, Latina, Asian, childless, single, divorced, young, old, welfare recipients, working-class, professional, retired, feminist, and so on, all of whom have as much of a claim as women voters as do so-called soccer moms.

Women gain and exercise real political power when they give meaning to their votes through activism and advocacy. In the 1920s, the activism of women in the Progressive Movement convinced many observers that what women voters wanted was prohibition, morality, and reform. In the early 1970s, politicians rushed to prove their commitment to women’s equality in response to the second wave. Within a few years conservative women’s activism made it clear that not all women voters supported liberal feminist ideals. In the 1980s, feminist activists gave the gender gap its name and promoted its impact as a means to expand the political power of women, drawing an unprecedented level of attention to women voters. In recent years, women on the left have been the backbone of the Resistance, communicating their policy priorities through calls to elected officials, campaign work, protest, and even running for office. None of these women activists have represented all women voters, but all of them have shaped how politicians appeal to women as voters.

Early conclusions about the failure of women’s suffrage were in this sense naïve: Learning how to leverage women’s votes was as complex and perilous as securing the vote itself. Evaluating the impact of the 19th Amendment highlights both the power and the limits of voting rights. Suffrage is at the core of a government founded on the consent of the governed, but it is a necessary condition, not a sufficient one. What we’ve learned from the first century of American women voters is that voting is a blunt and limited weapon for political influence that must be joined with activism and advocacy in order to truly make a difference.

J. Kevin Corder is a professor of political science at Western Michigan University. Christina Wolbrecht is a professor of political science and director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame. They are the authors of A Century of Votes for Women (Cambridge University Press).


Tennessee and the 19th Amendment

State of Tennessee depicted in purple, white, and gold (colors of the National Woman’s Party suffrage flag) – indicating Tennessee was one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment.

Women first organized and collectively fought for suffrage at the national level in July of 1848. Suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott convened a meeting of over 300 people in Seneca Falls, New York. In the following decades, women marched, protested, lobbied, and even went to jail. By the 1870s, women pressured Congress to vote on an amendment that would recognize their suffrage rights. This amendment was sometimes known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment and became the 19th Amendment.

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

After decades of arguments for and against women's suffrage, Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment in June 1919. After Congress approved the 19th Amendment, at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of the amendment for it to become law. This process is called ratification.

When members of the Tennessee state legislature debated on whether or not to ratify the amendment. The state senate voted to ratify, but in the state house of representatives, the vote resulted in a tie. A young man named Harry Burn cast the tie-breaking vote. Acting on advice from his mother Phoebe, Burn voted to ratify the amendment.

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment.
With Tennessee’s ratification, the 19th Amendment became law, ensuring that the right to vote could not be denied based on sex.

W.J. Jameson, head of the National Finance Committee of the Democratic Party and suffragist Anita Pollitzer of the National Woman’s Party check the latest tally of vote pledges in favor of the 19th Amendment.

Library of Congress, Records of the National Woman's Party Collection. https://www.loc.gov/item/mnwp000257/

Tennessee Places of Women's Suffrage: Women's Suffrage Statue in Market Square

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, making women's suffrage legal in the United States. There is a Woman Suffrage Memorial in downtown Knoxville in Market Square to honor state suffragists. The square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The memorial is dedicated to local white suffragists: Elizabeth Avery Meriwether (Memphis), Lizzie Crozier French (Knoxville), and Anne Dallas Dudley (Nashville). African American women also played a crucial role in the struggle for suffrage in Tennessee. Juno Frankie Pierce, for example, established voter education organizations. Pierce and others also helped register other African Americans in their communities. These women recognized that voter turnout was an important aspect of suffrage.

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The statue in Market Square is an important place in the story of ratification. The square is listed on the National Register.


The Importance of the 19th Amendment

On August 18, 1920, something remarkable occurred in American politics: the Constitution was amended for the nineteenth time, but this time women were given a voice in American politics. Throughout the history of the United States, the Constitution has been amended to deal with unanswered questions from the Founding Era. One of those questions included the role of women in American political society.

Prior to 1920, women did not have the right to vote in American elections. Without this right, women felt voiceless in their own society, unable to vote for the people who would represent them in Congress. Strong suffragettes, such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott propelled the fight for women’s suffrage. Their work culminated in the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, in which women met to develop a platform to fight for their involvement in politics.

But the fight for women’s rights was replaced by a greater threat to the Union at the time: slavery. Unthinkable to many American women at the time was the idea that African American slaves would receive the right to vote prior to literate Caucasian women. Women at this time were already active members of their societies, yet they would have to wait another fifty-five years until their voices would be heard.

Entering into the 20th century, the American suffragette movement received a boost when England granted women’s suffrage in 1906. The American suffragettes would continue their fight for the next fourteen years, garnering the support of many prominent politicians, including President Woodrow Wilson.

Two years after the conclusion of World War I, Congress finally ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote to all American citizens, regardless of sex. Finally, women across the nation would have an equal voice in the laws and politics that would govern them.

While many women today cherish their right to vote, many do not realize how miraculous it is. It took women over a century to gain the right to vote in 1920 now looking back almost a century later, women in America are some of the most active members of the political sphere.

The Nineteenth Amendment empowered women to have their voices heard in politics. No longer were they to submit to laws passed by men whom they never consented to represent them. This empowered women to invest in American politics more than ever before.

Since 1920, women have colored American politics and have shaped the development of the U.S. coming into the 21st century. Women have served throughout the sectors of government and have impacted the nation’s policies in favor of legislation that empowers women to take advantage of all opportunities presented. Never before have women had this great of opportunity to impact their nation.

As a proud, patriotic American woman, I greatly value my right to vote, as it enables me to have a voice in how my government is to operate. I utilize that voice to strive to limit the government to further empower women and increase their ability to better their lives. I value the right to vote, not only because it allows me to impact American politics in pursuit of the great principles of the American Founding, but because it opened the door to women everywhere to be seen as equals and be the definers of their fates.

Perhaps the greatest reason Americans should cherish the Nineteenth Amendment is that women around the world continue to be oppressed and silenced by their governments. These women are unable to follow their dreams and determine their futures. It is vital for Americans, especially American women, to fight for their counterparts throughout the globe in their pursuit of the right to vote and be seen as equal in their societies.

As we approach the anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, take time to be thankful for what we American women enjoy and remember how unique it is to women around the world. Women a century ago fought for our right to vote let us not take it for granted.


Seventeenth Amendment

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Seventeenth Amendment, amendment (1913) to the Constitution of the United States that provided for the direct election of U.S. senators by the voters of the states. It altered the electoral mechanism established in Article I, Section 3, of the Constitution, which had provided for the appointment of senators by the state legislatures. Adopted in the Progressive era of democratic political reform, the amendment reflected popular dissatisfaction with the corruption and inefficiency that had come to characterize the legislative election of U.S. senators in many states.

The amendment changed the wording of Article I, Section 3, paragraph 1, to state that “two Senators from each State” should be “elected by the people thereof” rather than “chosen by the Legislature thereof.” It also revised paragraph 2 of Section 3 to allow the state executive to fill vacancies in the Senate by making temporary appointments to serve until new elections could be held. The full text of the amendment is:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.


Equal Rights Amendment

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Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would invalidate many state and federal laws that discriminate against women its central underlying principle is that sex should not determine the legal rights of men or women.

The text of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” and further that “the Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” The ERA was first introduced to Congress in 1923, three years after women in the United States were granted the right to vote (by the Nineteenth Amendment), and it was finally approved by the U.S. Senate 49 years later, in March 1972. It was then submitted to the state legislatures for ratification within seven years but, despite a deadline extension to June 1982, was not ratified by the requisite majority of 38 states until 2020. Following its ratification by the 38th state (Virginia), supporters of the ERA argued that if Congress were to adopt legislation rescinding the 1982 deadline, the ERA would become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.

Although the ERA gained ratification of 30 states within one year of its Senate approval, mounting intense opposition from conservative religious and political organizations effectively brought ratification to a standstill. The main objections to the ERA were based on fears that women would lose privileges and protections such as exemption from compulsory military service and combat duty and economic support from husbands for themselves and their children.

Advocates of the ERA, led primarily by the National Organization for Women (NOW), maintained, however, that the issue was mainly economic. NOW’s position was that many sex-discriminatory state and federal laws perpetuated a state of economic dependence among a large number of women and that laws determining child support and job opportunities should be designed for the individual rather than for one sex. Many advocates of the ERA believed that the failure to adopt the measure as an amendment would cause women to lose many gains and would give a negative mandate to courts and legislators regarding feminist issues.


What is the text of the 19th Amendment?

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged…

(the US government may not stop a citizen from voting)

by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

(neither the federal or state government can prevent the right to vote based on sex)

Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

(Congress is empowered to pass laws to protect the right of women to vote in the United States)


19th Amendment By State

Woman holding sign in favor of Women’s Suffrage, circa 1910-1920.Congress.

Met vergunning Library of Congress. Harris & Ewing Collection

Beginning in mid-1800s, women and men came together to advocate for women’s rights. Some fought for the government to grant women rights. Some argued that they already had the same rights as men, but that they were being prevented from enjoying those rights by unjust laws. The fight for women’s rights unfolded at all levels of government.

One of these issues was voting (or suffrage) rights. Some women wanted the federal government to recognize their right to vote by passing a constitutional amendment. After years of fighting and lobbying, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed in 1920. It declared that:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Other women felt they should focus on getting their state or territory to recognize their right to vote. Several states and territories recognized women's suffrage rights before 1920, including Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, California, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Kansas, Alaska, Illinois, North Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan, Arkansas, New York, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.

Learn more about the US states and territories and their role in ratifying the 19th Amendment. Did your state vote to ratify the amendment? Find out!


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