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Womens Suffrage In Early 1800s And 1900s History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Back in the early 1800’s until the early 1900’s women were expected to bow down to the men and their husbands and do as they were told. The women started getting tired of not having a say so in anything and doing as they were told. So they decided to make a move, a move we know as the women’s suffrage movement. The women had a long and hard fight. The women of the suffrage movement of the early 1800’s until the early 1900’s stood up for their rights and what they believed in.

For years women had been left out of all decisions. They had few property rights, faced educational and employment barriers; they had no legal protection in divorce and child custody cases. The biggest thing is that they did not have the right to vote. All of these problems led to the beginning of women’s suffrage and the forming of many different groups.

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

Women’s suffrage is an economic and political reform to expand the right to vote. It first took place in the United States back in the 1820’s. This movement spread on to Europe and the European colonized world.

Women’s suffrage came about because women got tired of not being able to have a say so in anything, nor do anything. So they finally decided to stand up for their rights and what they strongly believed in. The women were getting tired of that so they took a stand to bring about women’s suffrage. The women were persuaded that the suffrage movement would be a good way to go.

In 1840, two women from London by the names of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott came to the U.S. They organized the women’s right convention at Seneca Falls in 1848. Later on, by 1866 they got help from Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone to establish the American equal rights association. They had help from plenty of other anxious women. These women were very hard working and dedicated to what they did. They never gave up fighting for their rights.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the leading feminist philosopher for the first generation of women’s rights activists. Her husband was supportive of her strive. But during the 1840’s and 1850’s, she was busy with maternal chores, and she still found time to write and plan a strategy for the women’s rights movement.

Susan B. Anthony was another activist of the women’s right movement. She spoke in public as a part of the temperance movement in 1847. She called another temperance movement in 1851, because of being refused access to a foregoing convention on account of her sex. Susan became widely known among the agitators for the abolition of slavery in 1857. She was very active in clearing the passage of the act of the New York legislature of 1860. It gave married women the ownership if their earnings and the custody of their children. She also started a petition for leaving out the word male in the fourteenth amendment. She worked with the national women suffrage association to influence congress to give her sex the right to vote.

One of the most outspoken leaders of the anti-slavery and women’s rights movement in America was Lucretia Mott. She was a Quaker minister and just like many Quakers, she was active in the abolitionist movement before the civil war. She helped find two anti-slavery groups and she was known very well for her ability to speak against slavery. Mott attended the world anti-slavery convention in London, England, in 1840. Mott and several other women were denied seats by men who controlled the convention. She did not like it, so she responded by promising to work diligently for women’s rights. Mott and other reformers, helped organize the first women’s right convention at Seneca Falls, New York. There were a series of brave women demanding for increased rights for women. That included better educational and employment possibilities and the right to vote. Mott spoke widely for both women’s right and the abolition of slavery, after 1848.

During the fight for women’s suffrage, they went through a lot and there were mainly events that took place. One of the biggest events of them all was World War I. When it started, the women’s suffrage movement stopped their activities and supported the war. It got them some credit from men and they actually helped the women. But when the cause began to gain attention, the philosophers came running with petitions to parliament for the inclusion of women’s suffrage in the reform act of 1867. A lady by the name of Emmeline Pankhurst founded the women’s social and political union in 1903. The followers she had harassed the politicians, practiced civil disobedience and were often arrested for starting riots.

Women got disrespected in many ways; they could barely speak in public. A young lady in the mid-1800s was standing on a platform speaking to a crowd, which was a very surprising sight. Some men listened because they were curious. The others listened to her because they wanted to taunt at the things she would say. Some of them even threw mud at the speaker. But never the less the women still fought for their right to vote.

Throughout their fight the women formed many different groups or organizations. The names of them were the American Equal Rights Association, the National Women Suffrage Association, and the National League of Women. The very first organization that was formed was the American Equal Rights Association in 1866. A year after the organization became active in Kansas, also where the Negro suffrage was to be decided by popular vote. But they were both rejected at the polls. The National Suffrage Association was formed in 1869; this organization blamed the fourteenth and fifteenth amendment as officious injustice to women. Later in the 1920’s, the National League of Women replaced the National Suffrage Association. Within this organization women were challenging the formal belief that women’s proper sphere of influence was internal. These organizations went through a lot. I guess they say if the men won’t listen to them one way, they will do it another.

During the women’s fight for women’s suffrage they had things happen to them such as being sent to jail and males voting against them. In 1647, a woman by the name of Margaret Brent requested a “place and a voice” in the Maryland Assembly. She was denied by the all-male council. Another woman spoke out and got banished from the colony, her name was Anne Hutchinson. Susan B. Anthony was arrested in 1872 for attempting to vote in an election. She was charged and founded guilty for violating voting rights.

The conditions of the women before they started all the movements and things were terrible. Women had few property rights, faced educational and employment barrier; and had no legal protection in divorce and child custody cases. So, basically with all of that you could say, if women tried to go against men for anything they would most likely lose. Men controlled everything, while the women could do nor say anything. Women had the thought in their head that men should be their masters.

Under a law called the common law doctrine of covertures, men gained control of their wives property and money. Then they say that if a man was poor and chose to send his children to a poorhouse, their mother couldn’t do anything about it. If the woman were to divorce their husbands, he kept both the property and children. The required educational preparation for the practice of medicine increased. This kept married women who were young and had a lot of children from having a professional career. The most outrageous of all is, if a woman shot and killed her husband, they would be accused of homicide. But if a man shot and killed his wife, he could be said as having a “passion shooting”.

On august 26, 1920, the nineteenth amendment became legal in the United States. It gave women the right to vote, freedom of speech, property, divorce and child custody right. It took them nearly a century of struggle to get it women’s suffrage approved. Once it was declared it was the best thing for all women. The women were very proud of themselves and all the things that they had accomplished.

There was a concern among politicians of both parties to have the amendment passed and made active before the big election in 1920. The president had a special meeting with congress about the bill and introducing the amendment. It was passed with more than enough votes than necessary on May 12, 1919. After all of that it got sent to the senate on June 4, 1919. Then after a long discussion it was finally passed with fifty-six “yes’s” and twenty-five “no’s”, the only thing left was for it to be ratified from the necessary number of states.

The women had to go through the House of Representative, but when the bill went through there the first time it lost. They tried a second time the bill was passed with one more vote than necessary. After that, the bill was then taken to the senate. In order for it to get approved it needed two-thirds majority in the senate and two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives. It was then again it was turned down on February 10, 1919, for lacking two votes to make the two-thirds. Once in action again, the president came into play and he called his meeting and the bill was passed. After it was approved there the suffragist took their campaign to the state legislatures. Once they got the approval of the thirty-six states, their proposal and job was well done.

Today, men and women are to be seen as full partners into the world of order where on one is to be excluded. After the suffrage movement, women got the same rights as men. They can vote, have jobs, and paid equally. It has been argued that the social position of women today is different today than in past centuries. Just to make a fuss today jury duty can expose women’s deep details of crimes. Some people think the women would forfeit their roles as ennoblers of a corrupt society. The same thing that kept women out of the voting booth seems curious today. None of the disasters have resulted from the nineteenth amendment. Some conservatives now, look to women’s vote. Now every time we have an election we celebrate women’s victory.

There are still countries, mainly in the Middle East; those countries have denied many women the right to vote. Kuwait just gave women the right to in February 2005. In Finland, they had their first female president in 2006. France had finally given women the right to vote in 1945. In Saudi Arabia women were not given the right to vote nor stand in for election. It was said that they may have been granted the right to vote in 2009. Also in Vatican City there was no suffrage for women at all. As of today there is still none, but maybe in the near future there will be a change.

During these times women grew very aggravated with the way things went down. Mainly because men never looked at them as being equal and they never would let the women have a say so in anything. They never backed down, not even when they were arrested, fought against by men and more. With all of that these women were strong; they never let anything or anyone get in their way. These were very phenomenal women of the suffrage movement back in the early 1800s until the early 1900s, who stood up for their rights and what they believed in.

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