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Women’s Suffrage Movement And Its Impact On The Women’s Rights Movement Before 1920

“We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.”

-Susan B. Anthony

The following paper analyzes the Women’s Suffrage Movement and its impact on the Women’s Rights Movement before 1920. The Women’s Suffrage Movement is also known as women’s suffrage; it was an endeavor to attain the women’s right to cast a vote. Moreover, the women’s suffrage also elaborated on the significance of women’s right to run for office and was an integral part of the women’s rights movement. Evidently, throughout the nineteenth century, women from different countries, specifically from the United States and Britain, developed organizations to create their path for suffrage. Consequently, it was the year 1988 when the first-ever organization of women’s rights was established internationally; the organization was called the International Council of Women (ICW) (Cooney, 2005).

To comprehend the impact of the Women’s Suffrage Movement on the Women’s Rights Movement, it is imperative to have an insight into women’s suffrage first. Women’s suffrage was conducted all over the United States and other countries to gain the legal right for women to vote. This movement took place after several decades of struggles; initially, the endeavors were started on a local basis, and eventually, the scope was raised and became national in the year 1920. Chronically, it is stated that the subject movement picked up strength throughout the 1840s, and in the year 1848, it emerged from a wider and more substantial movement that is known as the women’s rights movement. (Eisenberg, 1998) From this perspective, the Seneca Falls Convention is considered important as it approved a resolution to support women’s suffrage. However, some of the convention’s organizers presented their opposite views, yet the resolution passed in favor of women. According to most people at that time, the perception of suffrage was based on extremity and impractical; nevertheless, regardless of immense opposition, women’s suffrage emerged as an imperative and sensitive issue of the activities of the movement in 1850.

It was the year 1869 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone organized their organizations, which were believed to be the first national suffrage organizations, and they competed with each other. (Stanton, 1881) However, because both organizations featured same vision and objectives, therefore, they merged into one entity, that is known as National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). NAWSA was established in 1890, and Anthony became its leading person. (Barry, 2000) When it comes to the significance of Women’s suffrage, throughout the women’s rights movement prior to 1920, no one can deny the value of suffrage demand. As a matter of fact, the suffrage movement manifests itself from the wider and more substantial movement of women’s rights. Therefore, women’s suffrage is believed to be a supportive chunk of the overall big picture.

In that era, women were facing different issues altogether, and for this reason, the writers’ block of feminists played a prominent role in delivering and highlighting the severity of different factors. Take the instance of “A vindication of the rights of women” (Mary Wollstonecraft, written in 1792), and Sarah Grimke’s “The equality of the sexes and the condition of women” that published in 1838. Moreover, “Women in the nineteenth-century” was also published in 1845 and was penned by Margret Fuller. The underlying purpose of all writers and activists was to attain legal rights for women and to deal with societal sexism. In this regard, they have to tackle several obstacles, and therefore, women’s suffrage has developed into an important outcome through managing women’s voting issues powerfully. The subject struggle eradicated notable barriers from the path of the overall movement of women’s rights. One of the hurdles was substantial antagonism that held women back from being involved in public affairs, and the perception was severe because many reform activists were unable to digest the idea. However, with forced implications in 1839, women were acknowledged as American Antislavery Society’s members. Nonetheless, the organization was divided into two fragments by the time of the next convention, in which women were allocated to different communities.

Women’s rights movement was fighting for a broad range of rights for women, meanwhile, the focus of the suffrage movement was solely on the women’s right of voting. The struggle that suffrage went through smoothed the path of the overall women’s rights movement. Suffrage was a more complicated field of effort as laws regarding marriages also affected the freedom of women to vote and conduct other legal contracts. At that time, marriages bonded females from certain independent activities that built barriers to the suffrage campaign. According to the law practices at that time, a female’s legal existence merged with her husband during the marriage, and they became one legal person in the view and treatment under American law. The issue of restricted rights restrained women from several states from approving contracts by signing them legally, which, in turn, elevated the difficulties for women to organize halls for conventions and to develop and disseminate printed materials. Such things were required for the rapid dispersion of the underlying message of the suffrage movement but were impeded due to unfair legal implications. Nevertheless, gradually, different states overcame the restrictions through marriage, and many rich and influential men supported the movement against married women’s property laws. Such wealthy men did not want their daughters to encounter miserable situations after marriage and, therefore, stood against such vague statutes (Rosenberg, 1982).

It is evident that before the commencement of the Women’s suffrage movement, females were observed as inferior creatures and had a low status among societal characters. However, the suffrage movement emerged from a greater campaign of the women’s rights movement, supported its core essence, and facilitated the attainment of its fundamental essence. Suffrage boosted women’s presence in social, economic, and political areas. Tragically, women in that era were treated badly, and white males were superior to all women in all perspectives. Cooking, cleaning, and nurturing the family were the sole purposes of a woman’s life. Further, women encountered the lowest possible opportunities to get an education and adequate jobs. If, by any chance, they got jobs, their salaries would be considerably lower than those of men. Similarly, women were deprived of political issues, and society and law denied several of their rights; the voting right was at the top of the list.

But, as time passed, women comprehended their true value, and under the supervision of different feminists and activists, they fought for their basic rights through several reforming movements. Through movements like the Rights Movement and Suffrage Movements, they realized that it was worth fighting for rights and independence. Therefore, they further evoked to snatch their equality and disparity among all Americans. Such movements eradicated unequal practices that were part of society, either on the basis of color, race, or gender. By analyzing the above-provided content, it becomes clear that before the Suffrage and Women’s Rights Movements, women were compelled to live an inferior life, but the dawn of the movement brought new sunshine to their lives.

Work Cited

Barry, Kathleen. Susan B. Anthony: a Biography of a Singular Feminist. 1st Books Library,

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, et al. History of Woman Suffrage. Fowler & Wells, 1881.

Eisenberg, Bonnie. “History of the Women’s Rights Movement.” National Women’s History Project,

Cooney, Robert. Winning the Vote: the Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement. Published and Distributed by American Graphic Press, 2005.

Rosenberg, Rosalind. Beyond Separate Spheres: Intellectual Roots of Modern Feminism. Yale Univ. Press, 1993.



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