Women's Suffrage (1840-1920)
  1. Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America (1840)
  2. The Seneca Falls Declaration (1848)
  3. 15th Amendment (1869)
  4. Susan B. Anthony: Speech in Favor of Women's Suffrage (1872)
  5. Agnes Nestor: Working Her Fingers to the Bone (1898)
  6. Alice Stone Blackwell: The Military Argument (1897)
  7. Women’s Suffrage Map
  8. Headquarters of an Anti-Suffrage Group (circa 1910)
  9. Pamphlet of National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (circa 1910)
  10. "Danger! Woman's Suffrage Would Double the Irresponsible Vote" (1911)
  11. Votes for Women (1913)
  12. Alice Miller: Why We Don't Want Men to Vote (1915)
  13. Photograph of Suffragist with "Kaiser Wilson" Poster
  14. Carrie Chapman Catt: “Do you know?” (1918)
  15. Women's Voting Rights – Global Map
  16. A Chronology of Women’s Suffrage
  17. Passage of the 19th Amendment
  18. Lesson Plans
  19. Women's Suffrage PowerPoint
Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America (1840)Top
Alexis de Tocqueville was a French citizen who traveled to America and wrote about his observations of American culture and politics. This passage from Democracy in America discusses how Americans viewed the equality of the sexes. Note that Tocqueville acknowledged that women were not completely equal in American society, but he also claimed that they enjoyed greater equality here than in Europe.

Questions to consider:
1. To whose attitude towards the sexes does Tocqueville compare America’s?
2. How does he say Americans view gender roles and why are they viewed as such?
3. How do the attitudes of American women themselves differ from other countries?
4. How do American men treat women differently from European men?
5. How does Tocqueville see the overall position of women in America as compared to Europe?
     Democracy in America.rtf  
     Alexis de Tocqueville.jpg
Link to Democracy in America: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/ch3_12.htm
Original Image of Tocqueville: http://clarke.cmich.edu/detroit/images/tocqueville.jpg
The Seneca Falls Declaration (1848)Top
The beginning of the fight for women suffrage is usually traced to the Declaration of Sentiments or the Seneca Falls Declaration, produced at the first woman's rights convention in Seneca Falls, N. Y. in 1848.

The Seneca Falls Declaration outlined the women's rights movement of the mid-19th century. As can be seen in the opening passages, the document was modeled after the Declaration of Independence. A photograph from the Seneca Falls Convention follows below.

Questions to consider:
1. Why did the suffragists chose the Declaration of Independence as a model?
2. What do the writers of this document want, or want to express?
3. How is the argument of “absolute tyranny over” women supported?

     The Seneca Falls Declaration.rtf  
The Seneca Falls Declaration was found at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/Senecafalls.html
The photo from the Seneca Falls Convention was found at http://history.grand-forks.k12.nd.us/ndhistory/LessonImages/modified%20pics/women%20vote.jpg
15th Amendment (1869)Top
In July 1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, and launched the women’s suffrage movement. Many of the attendees to the convention were also abolitionists whose goals included universal suffrage. In 1870 this goal was partially realized when the 15th amendment to the Constitution, granting black men the right to vote, was ratified.

Questions to consider:
1. When was this Amendment ratified?
2. Explain in your own words who the Amendment granted voting rights to. What group did this Amendment not help?
     Amendment XV.rtf  
Web version: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/woman-suffrage/resolution.html
Susan B. Anthony: Speech in Favor of Women's Suffrage (1872)Top
The two attachments include a photograph of famed suffragette, Susan B. Anthony and an edited version of a speech in favor of Women's Suffrage. In this speech, given following her arrest for attempting to vote in the 1872 election, Anthony argues that respect for America's fundamental principles requires that women be allowed to vote.

Questions to consider:
1)What does Anthony say about her “crime” of voting?
2)What does she argue is the relationship between the government and an individual’s rights?
3)What arguments does she make about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?
4)What sort of action has Anthony and her supporters taken to grant women voting rights? What methods had they tried in the past?
     Susan B Anthony Speech in Favor of Womens Suffrage.rtf  
     Susan B Anthony.jpg
Link to Anthony's Speech: http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/anthony/anthonyaddress.html
Link to Original Photograph of Anthony: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/fi/00000113.htm
Agnes Nestor: Working Her Fingers to the Bone (1898)Top
Beginning in the late 19th century, the rapid increase in the number of women in the work force reflected a significant shift in the role and status of women in American culture. As women become more economically empowered, their methods and scope of organization also became increasingly more apparent and often tied to labor disputes. Such disputes often provided the impetus for organized movements to achieve suffrage with the general understanding that political influence would provide women with greater protection in the work place.

Included here is an account of Agnes Nestor, a factory worker, who played a substantial role in the emerging women's labor movement. Nestor’s mother was a textile mill worker and her father was a machinist and a one-time member of the Knights of Labor who became a city alderman in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The family migrated to Chicago during the depression of the 1890s, and the teenage Agnes went to work in a glove factory. The sixty-hour work weeks exhausted her. “I have been so tired all day I could hardly work,” she regularly noted in her diary. This reminiscence by Nestor described how the oppressive conditions of the glove factory pushed her to take a leading role in a successful strike of female glove workers in 1898. Soon she became president of her glove workers local and later a leader of the International Glove Workers Union. She also took a leading role in the Women’s Trade Union League, serving as president of the Chicago branch from 1913 to 1948.

Questions to consider:
1)What did workers in the factory have to pay for themselves?
2)What event made to workers to think of “fighting back”? What action was taken?
3)What was the management’s reaction to this action?
4)What were the women attempting to accomplish? Were they successful?
     Working Her Fingers to the Bone.rtf  
     Agnes Nestor.jpg
Link to Working Her Fingers to the Bone: http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5728/
Link to Photo of Agnes Nestor: http://www.kentlaw.edu/ilhs/images/hall/nestor.jpg
Alice Stone Blackwell: The Military Argument (1897)Top
Here Alice Stone Blackwell makes a strong argument against the connection between eligibility for serving in the armed forces and suffrage.

Questions to consider:
1) What theory is Blackwell arguing against?
2) Who seems to be promoting this theory which Blackwell is arguing against?
3) How do women support the country according to Blackwell?
4) What examples does she use to support her argument?
     The Military Argument.rtf  
     Alice Stone Blackwell.jpg
Link to The Military Argument: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/naw:@field(DOCID+@lit(rbnawsan2415div6))
Photo of Alice Stone Blackwell: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pnp/cph/3b30000/3b39000/3b39700/3b39726r.jpg
Women’s Suffrage MapTop
This map indicates which states allowed women to vote and to what degree prior to and after the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Questions to consider:
1)Do you see an overall pattern as to which states / regions gave women to right to vote early on?
2)Why might this be the case in these areas?
     Womens Suffrage Map.rtf  
     Map States Grant Women Right To Vote.jpg
Women's Suffrage Map: http://www.constitutioncenter.org/timeline/html/cw08_12159.html
Headquarters of an Anti-Suffrage Group (circa 1910)Top
Opposition to the goal of women’s suffrage came from many arenas. Some objected because they believed that women would only duplicate the voting of their husbands, while others believed that women were unable to exert the rational thought that voting required. Many also argued that women were morally superior to the American political system and that voting would violate the special position they held as society’s caregivers. Still others maintained that husbands, fathers, and sons were best able to represent the interests of the women in their lives.
     Headquarters of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.jpg
Original Photo: http://womenshistory.about.com/library/pic/bl_p_opposed_suffrage_hq.htm
Pamphlet of National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (circa 1910)Top
This pamphlet conveys these many varied concerns. It also reflects another aspect of American life in the early twentieth century -- literature aimed at a female audience. The period witnessed a rapid increase women’s magazines, advice columns, and other media. By portraying their arguments as “helpful hints,” this Association emphasized women’s domestic sphere and conveyed the opposition of many to the contemporary reality of increased female participation in affairs outside of the home.

Question to consider:
1. Identify the major arguments this pamphlet presents against giving women the vote. Are these points ideologically consistent with one another?
2. About what do those opposed to giving women the vote seem most afraid?
3. Identify the connection made here between the vote and household activities. Why did the Association make these connections?
4. Why have some hints been placed in the Housewives! category and others in Spot Removers?
5. Do you think this pamphlet helped or hurt the cause of those who opposed women’s suffrage?
6. Why do you think pamphlet’s author chose to put a house on its front cover?
     Pamphlet of National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.rtf  
     Pamphlet Cover.jpg
Pamphlet found at: http://www.jwa.org/teach/primarysources/orgrec_08.pdf
"Danger! Woman's Suffrage Would Double the Irresponsible Vote" (1911)Top
"Danger! Woman's Suffrage Would Double the Irresponsible Vote. It is a MENACE to the Home, Men's Employment and to all Business. (Sample) Official Referendum Ballot. If you desire to vote for any question, make a cross (X) or other mark in the square after the word 'yes,' underneath such question; if you desire to vote against any question, make a cross or other mark in the square after the word 'no' underneath such question. Shall Chapter 227 of the laws of 1911 entitle 'an act expanding the rights of suffrage to women' be adopted? The above is an exact reproduction of the separate ballot printed on pink paper which will be handed to you in your voting place on November 5. Be sure and put your cross (X) in the square after the word 'no' as shown here, and--be sure and vote this pink ballot. Issued and Circulated by Progress Publishing Co., Watertown Wis."

Question for discussion:
1. Where might a poster like this be found?
2. What is the message?
3. Who is the target audience?
     Danger Womens Suffrage.jpg
Web Version: http://us.history.wisc.edu/hist102/photos/html/1014.html
Votes for Women (1913)Top
The fight for women’s suffrage dominated the women’s movement during the late 19th century and early 20th century. While the overall goal was for national women’s suffrage, state suffrage was often the first victories in the fight. The poster represents the growth in the number states that granted women the right to vote prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Questions to consider:
1. Where might this poster be found?
2. What is the message?
3. Who is the target audience?
4. What do you think “see how she grows” at the bottom of the poster means?
     The Woman Voter.jpg
Web Version: http://www.casahistoria.net/g3cs1s6.jpg
Alice Miller: Why We Don't Want Men to Vote (1915)Top
Alice Miller was a prominent writer who often expounded on topics relevant to women. She satirized the viewpoints of many men who wanted to deny women the right to vote.

Question to consider:
1. Which stereotypes of females does Miller satirize in this selection?
     Why We Dont Want Men to Vote.rtf  
     Alice Miller.jpg
Photo of Alice Miller: http://www.asu.edu/pipercwcenter/how2journal/current/miller_feature/intro_mainframe.htm#
Photograph of Suffragist with "Kaiser Wilson" PosterTop
During World War I, dedicated suffragists, demanding that President Wilson reverse his opposition to a federal amendment, stood vigil at the White House and carried banners such as this one comparing the President to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. In the heated patriotic climate of wartime, such tactics met with hostility and sometimes violence and arrest.

Questions to consider:
1)Why does she compare Wilson to the Kaiser?
2)What does she mean by “Take the beam out of your own eye”? What is this a reference to?
     Kaiser Wilson.gif
Original version of "Kaiser Wilson" Poster: http://www.archives.gov/global-pages/larger-image.html?i=/education/lessons/woman-suffrage/images/kaiser-wilson-l.gif&c=/education/lessons/woman-suffrage/images/kaiser-wilson.caption.html
Carrie Chapman Catt: “Do you know?” (1918)Top
This work was intended to inform about the status of women’s suffrage across the globe and point out how far behind America was up to that point in time. Catt also stressed the importance of suffrage for women working to secure their rights as citizens.

Questions to consider:
1)What countries does Catt use as examples?
2)What concerns does she have for women in America?
3)What does she argue will improve if women get the right to vote?
     Do you know.rtf  
     Carrie Chapman Catt.jpg
Link to Do You Know: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/naw:@field(DOCID+@lit(rbnawsan835ediv0))
Photo of Carrie Chapman Catt: http://www.brynmawr.edu/library/exhibits/suffrage/CCCatt.jpg
Women's Voting Rights – Global MapTop
Possibly the biggest change in the political landscape of the 20th century has been the enfranchisement of women. When the century began, only one small country (New Zealand) allowed women to vote, but now, only one small country (Kuwait) does not allow women to vote.
     Womens Voting Rights Global Map.gif
Original Map: http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/fem-vote.htm
A Chronology of Women’s SuffrageTop
Unless otherwise indicated, the date signifies the year women were granted the right both to vote and to stand for election. The countries listed currently have a Parliament or have had one at some point in their history.
     Chronology of Womens Suffrage.rtf  
Full Chronology: http://www.rochester.edu/SBA/suffragetimeline.html
Passage of the 19th AmendmentTop
Although briefly postponed due to the outbreak of WWI, the continued agitation by women determined to obtain voting rights resulted in the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which finally allowed women to represent themselves at the polls.

Questions to consider:
1)List several ways that the 19th Amendment changed the lives of American women. List several facets of life that it did not change.
2)What advances in women's rights occurred between the passage of the 19th Amendment and today? Do you think that the status of women in America would have evolved as it has without the Amendment?
     Amendment XIX.rtf  
     Amendment 19.gif
Text of the Amendment XIX: http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.amendmentxix.html
Image of Amendment 19: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/amendment_19/images/amendment_19.gif
Lesson PlansTop
Lesson Plans relevant to this topic appear below.
     TM Suffragette Bingo Lesson Plan Grades 9 through 12.rtf  
     TM Women Suffered to Achieve Suffrage Grades 8 through 12.rtf  
     TM Womens Suffrage Lesson Plan Grades 9 through 12.rtf  
     TM Womens Suffrage Movement Signature Debacle Grades 8 through 9.rtf  
     TM Susan B Anthony and the 19th Amendment Lesson Plan Grades 9 through 12.rtf  
     TM Susan B Anthony and the 19th Amendment Lesson Plan Grades 9 through 12.rtf  
Women's Suffrage PowerPointTop
Below is a PowerPoint Presentation which may be used in the classroom and includes all of the above material.
     Womens Suffrage.ppt  
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