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Women’s Lasting Battle Towards Suffrage Essay

4014 words - 17 pages

Women’s Lasting Battle towards Suffrage
On August 18, 1920, the Constitutional Amendment that guarantees all American women the right to vote was ratified. The ratification of the 19th amendment was the beginning of political equality in the United States. However, the battle for women’s rights began in 1848 and continued for over seventy-two years; becoming one of the longest-lasting reform movements in American history . The real question is: why did it take so long for women to achieve the right to vote? Many anti-suffragettes stated that the wording in the 14th Amendment did not give women their right to vote. However, it is also genuine to say that many people in America were still in ...view middle of the document...

” Furthermore, the purpose of this Declaration was so that the majority of Americans would notice that women were citizens and no longer wanted to be oppressed. However, even though this Declaration was the early demand for suffrage, women still did not receive this right until seventy years after.
While suffragists fought for women’s right to vote, the national debate over slavery controlled the public attention right before the Civil War. Suffragists and abolitionists came together to fight for rights. As Carol Nash observes, these issues did not receive equal attention: “Though many abolitionists saw the battle as one of human rights, which included rights of women, others feared that linking women’s rights to abolition might defeat abolition, which was the primary goal at the time.” In addition, the war between the states dominated political life, and women’s rights issues were put on hold. Once the war ended, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed the American Equal Rights Association to combine two demands for suffrage into one campaign; they wanted the right to vote for all citizens. AERA petitioned the wording of the 14th and 15th Amendment, but The Radicals, which were the Republicans who were fighting for extreme changes in government to protect freed African Americans, refused to introduce the AERA’s petition in Congress, “fearing a link with women’s suffrage would weaken the demand for black suffrage,” . This caused the association to face a dilemma: demanding women’s suffrage at the expense of blacks’ was a betrayal of abolitionism, and supporting African American rights over women’s rights seemed like an unreasonable sacrifice. This issue created a split among feminists and two separate organizations were born. Stanton and Anthony founded the National Women’s Suffrage Association in May 1869, while other feminists started the American Women Suffrage Association. In the end, the 15th Amendment was passed in 1870. It guaranteed that the right to vote could not be denied based on race, but it said nothing about gender. This difference had serious consequences for women’s suffrage.
While there were people fighting for women’s rights, anti-suffragettes believed that women were too frail to vote and that upsetting the different male and female roles would end the nation. Women were not even allowed to attend college because “women’s brains were thought to be inferior to those of men; therefore women could not presume to undertake mathematical or scientifical study.” This means that women’s opinions were inconsequential and this idea became a social norm. This social norm is known as the patriarchal system in which men are superior to women socially, economically, and politically because society is conforming to the traditional gender roles. Therefore, it is clear that the patriarchy was enforced, and this was a huge reason in which why it took long for women to gain their right to vote.
Despite the fact that there were...

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