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The Passage of the Nineteenth Amendment
Author(s): Steven Mintz
Source: OAH Magazine of History, Vol. 21, No. 3, Reinterpreting the 1920s (Jul., 2007), pp.
47-50
Published by: Organization of American Historians
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25162130 .
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Teaching American History With Documents
from the Gilder Lehrman Collection
The
the
of
Passage
Amendment
Nineteenth
With an introduction
byStevenMintz
"The rightof citizens of theUnited States shall not be denied or
of sex."
States or any state on account
by the United
to the U.S. Constitution
Nineteenth Amendment
abridged
was
related
a Mormon
to efforts tomaintain
Woman
the National
1890,
Association
Woman
Suffrage
American Woman
Suffrage Association.
In
Suffrage
American
call for women's
the original
suffrage
years separated
Seventy-two
in
Seneca
Convention
at the Women's
Falls, New York,
Rights
in
Amendment
of the Nineteenth
in 1848,
and
ratification
women
guaranteeing
Seneca
in
the
participated
two women
who
the right to vote. Only
were
the
still alive when
convention
1920,
extension
The
went
Amendment
Nineteenth
Falls
which
was
to women
achieved
only
state
to
included
after
campaigns
persuade
480
struggle,
to state constitutions;
to adopt
56
suffrage amendments
legislatures
to convince
referenda
statewide
voters; and 47 campaigns
among male
to
state constitutional
conventions
suffrage provisions.
adopt women's
prolonged
one
Only
13 states
of the original
any women
allowed
to vote.
Between
1776 and 1807 New Jerseygranted single and widowed women with
property
in school
women
authorized
In 1838, Kentucky
the right to vote.
suit.
other states followed
and many
elections,
women's
the Civil War,
After
rights
they should push to include women
which
two
extended
competing
voting
rights
to African
and goals. The National Woman
B.
Anthony
amendment
property
and
Elizabeth
women
giving
rights for women,
split
over whether
in the FifteenthAmendment,
emerged,
organizations
supporters
to vote
American
each
men.
its own
with
In
SuffrageAssociation, led by Susan
Stanton,
favored
a
constitutional
Cady
the right to vote along with divorce reform,
Woman
and dress reform. The American
a
SuffrageAssociation, led by former abolitionist Lucy Stone, favored
state-by-state
approach
and
a
single-minded
focus
on
suffrage.
West.
The firstbreakthroughsforwomen's suffragetookplace in the
was the firstgovernment in theworld to
In 1869,Wyoming territory
Itwas followed by Utah,
the vote on equal terms with men.
give
was
intermixed
In theWest,
and Idaho.
Colorado,
support for suffrage
favored
Some westerners
issues.
unrelated
with a variety of seemingly
women
women's
would
suffrage
attract women
as
that it
a way
to attract settlers; others believed
In Utah,
the region.
and help "civilize"
suffrage
the
and
the
merged
Instead
Association
to form
the National
immigrant
the
1900,
voters.
and nonwhite
a new,
developed
campaign
suffrage
who had
from many women
support
constituency,
drawing
or who held white-collar
a
education
jobs. Beginning
college
states adopted women's
seven additional western
suffrage.
After
broader
received
in 1910,
head
became
In 1915, Carrie Chapman
Catt, a former schoolteacher,
and developed
American
Woman
of the National
Suffrage Association
it
the "Winning
a new
Plan,"
strategy to win the vote. Named
political
women
vote and for ratification
the
called for state laws that would
give
the
Her
to the U.S. Constitution.
of an amendment
strategy included
key U.S.
of several
defeat
senators
and
the identification
of supporters
ready to lobby in everystate legislativedistrict in the country.
two broadsides
The
1869,
strategies
within
of arguing for suffrage
that
leaders contended
in terms of equal rights, the new organization's
to clean up politics
and fight social
was necessary
the vote for women
that giving the
the ugly argument
evil. Some
suffrage supporters made
voters would
that white, native-born
vote to women
would
guarantee
outnumber
into effect.
the vote
of
voting majority
state.
to
used
men
persuade
were
some arguments
treatment under
the
the arguments
on the following
pages present
to vote in favor of women's
suffrage. While
on the notion
deserve
that women
based
equal
law, others
reflect
the notion
to corruption
sensitive
particularly
concern for education
and children's welfare.
women
made
special
Meanwhile,
a group of younger women, many
and held professional
abroad
graduate
education
formed
the National
marches,
outdoor
that motherhood
and
gave
them
had
received
of whom
jobs,
adopted
a
more
confrontationaltactics. Led by Alice Paul, a Philadelphia Quaker who
The
combination
tactics helped make
women
American
influential
force.
included picketing,
Party, their strategies
strikes in jail.
and hunger
and Paul's militant
of Catf s careful organizing
Woman's
rallies,
suffrage
already had
issue. By 1916, a million
inescapable
and were an
elections
the vote in national
an
Still, opposition
remained
intense.
Some
opponents
OAH Magazine ofHistory July2007 47
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claimed
and
too corrupt for women.
that politics was
Liquor manufacturers
owners
vote to ban alcohol
would
feared that women
sales,
saloon
some
while
the use
give
In 1920,
women
Zealand,
labor and
the United
the vote,
and
that women
interests worried
business
of child
Russia.
for limitations
States
became
after countries
World
War
on work
would
vote against
hours.
to
the twenty-seventh
nation
such as Denmark,
New
Mexico,
I played
a critical
in promoting
that the allies were fighting
role
to prove
suffrage, since it seemed
for democracy.
a
on
Women's
the 1920s.
suffrage had
big impact
politics during
voters were more
men
Women
to
than
attach
likely
priority to issues
and health care. They also tended to be
education,
involving children,
women's
strong advocates
of peace. Many of the issues that dominated
American
the 1920s?education,
the establishment
of maternal
politics during
and
infant health
women's
mounting
care
clinics,
political
In the Next
Magazine
Lincoln,
pacifism,
LI
influence.
and
is John and
Steven Mintz
versity of Houston.
Rebecca
Additional
Moores
material
at the Uni
Professor of History
on the women's
suffrage movement
and other topics inAmerican historyby SteveMintz can befound on the
Digital
History
website
at
<http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu>.
on
at the New-York Historical
Lehrman Collection,
Soci
deposit
documents
the po
ety in New York City, holds more than 60,000
detailing
litical and social history of the United States. For information on the collec
tion and the educational
programs and publications
of the Gilder Lehrman
Institute of American
History, check online at <http://www.gilderlehrman.
The Gilder
org/>, call 646-366-9666,
NY 10036.
or write
to 19 W.
44th
St., Ste. 500, New
York,
prohibition?reflected
GUEST EDITOR
Issue of the OAH
E. Bicham
Darrel
of History:
CONTRIBUTORS
Slavery, and Race
Historiography: Lincoln, Slavery, and Race
Brian Dirck
Lincoln, Race and Slavery: A Biographical Overview
Allen
JO;*, J %\4Em&
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Cuelzo
Emancipation and Colonization
**
J^l
Richard
J.M. Blackett
Lincoln and African Americans
fWi
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tfiiMiiripiiliiiiiJliiiiiiHialiiin
in r
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Lincoln and Race before 1858: The Key Documents
William
1 \M.*?':.;_ ..
v^^S
Mackey
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Images of Lincoln and Race, 1860-1865
Matthew
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Lincoln and FrederickDouglass
Tom Mackey
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James Percoco
I_
48 OAH Magazine ofHistory July2007
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VOTES
THE
~
FOR WOMEN!
WOMAN'S
REASON.
BECAUSE
BECAUSE
BECAUSE
BECAUSE
women must obey the lawsjust as men do,
They should vote equally with men.
women
pay taxes just as men
do, thus supporting
BECAUSE
mothers
BECAUSE
over
to make
want
their children's
surroundings
BECAUSE
They
BECAUSE
conditions
that can only be remedied
to support
their advice
by
evil
by legislation,
by their votes,
They should vote equally with mem
busy housemothers and professional women cannot give such public
service, and can only serve the slate by
a ballot,
busy man?namely,
by casting
women
They
need
to be trained to a
higher
bility, and such sense developes
BECAUSE
and their
1 They should vote equally with men.
women of leisure who attempt to serve the public welfkreshould be
able
BECAUSE
better,
should vote equally with men*
in the United States are wage workers
8,000,000 women
health and that of our future citizens are often endangered
working
BECAUSE
the government,
They should vote equally with men.
women suffer
from bad governmentjust as men do,
They should vote equally with men.
women
are consumers,
the same means
used
by
the
?
vote
men.
equally with
sense of social and civic responsi
should
by^use,
They should vote equally with men.
and consumers
need fuller representation inpolitics,
should vote equally with men*
They
women are citizens of a government
of the people, by
the people and
are people.
for the people, and women
They should vote equally with mttu
EQUAL SUFFRAGE FOR MEN AND WOMEN.
WOMEN Need It
MENNeedIt WH Y ?
The STATE Needs It
Women
Men OughtTo HAVE TheirHelp.
BECAUSE
Their Help.
The State Ought To USE
I . .I?M^
, .,?,.,,?..
WOMAN
SUFFRAGE
OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
Headquarters:
Their Help.
Ought To GIVE
30. East
34th
Street, Southwest
PARTY
cor. Madison
Avenue
Women's suffragebroadside (GilderLehrmanCollection,CLC08963).
OAH Magazine ofHistory July2007 49
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PLAIN FACTS FOR THE WORKINGMAN
You
know that your vote helps you to get better working condi
it helps elect to office the men
Became
tions. Why?
can
who
you want.
get you what
I If you were to die to-morrow and your wife or daughters had to
|
work, they would need the vote for the same reasons.
You love your family,but you are away all day at work and your
looks after
wife
|
the children
and
the home.
Think what happens when the food supply has not been properly j
measures
in
inspected, when there is cheating
weights^and
are
wasted.
Your
in the quality of goods.
earnings
and
Think what happens when there are not enough schools or playgrounds. Your children go without education and play
in the crowded streets. I
I
!
I
Think what happens when housing laws are bad, and streets are
filthyand milk isn't pure. Your babies sicken and die.
what happens when dance halls and theatres are not decent,
| Think
|
sale
unlawful
and when
and girls are
on.
is carried
of "dope"
in danger
Your
boys
of going wrong*
Remember you haven't time to look after all these things, and
your wife's complaints to the City departments that control
them, do
don't
And
no
she
because
good
the
hasn't
vote.
*
forget there are more working people in this State
than any other kind.
When
you
let the women
double your power for gettingwhat you need.
j
vote,
you will
THINK IT OVER
and
Vote for theWoman Suffrage Amendment
NEW JERSEY WOMAN
SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION
309 Park Avenue,
Headquarters:
Plainfield
qfr
-*~
I
Women's suffragebroadside (GilderLehrmanCollection, CLC08962)
A Teacher's Guide to theGilder LehrmanCollection Documents
1. In Steven Mintz's
Examine
he notes
that suffragists offered
the ballot.
equal
rights, including
elevate politics and promote
reform.
introduction
a. Women
deserve
b. Women
will
both documents
noted
above.
2. Are
there any specific
in the reading
included
reasons
and
list two reasons
in the two documents
listed
two different
that would
in favor of a woman's
arguments
supporting
have won
a woman's
your
right to vote:
right to vote that reflect each
support
for suffrage?
of the two arguments
Explain
will promote reform),
which would you havemost supported?Why?
3.Of the two arguments (Womendeserveequal rightsand Suffrage
4. How
can we
account
for the fact that some women
is the right to vote considered
5.Why
6. If a 19th-century
suffragist visited
one
us
did not support a woman's
right to vote?
did proponents
of women's
of democracy?
What
arguments
suffrage advance?
in women's
that have taken place
that visitor be pleased with the changes
rights? Explain.
of the cornerstones
today, would
50 OAH Magazine ofHistory ?July2007
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