Women’s suffrage in the United States of America, the legal right of women to vote, was established over the course of more than half a century, first in various states and localities, sometimes on a limited basis, and then nationally in 1920.
The demand for women’s suffrage began to gather strength in the 1840s, emerging from the broader movement for women’s rights. In 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention, passed a resolution in favor of women’s suffrage despite opposition from some of its organizers, who believed the idea was too extreme. By the time of the first National Women’s Rights Convention in 1850, however, suffrage was becoming an increasingly important aspect of the movement’s activities.
The first national suffrage organizations were established in 1869 when two competing organizations were formed, one led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the other by Lucy Stone. After years of rivalry, they merged in 1890 as the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) with Anthony as its leading force. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which was the largest women’s organization at that time, was established in 1873 and also pursued women’s suffrage, giving a huge boost to the movement.
In the 19th century women had limited rights. They could not hold title to property. If divorced the women could not have custody of their children. It took over hundred years for women to win the right to vote. It is important that you exercise your right to vote. Make sure you are registered to vote.
In 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920. A It states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”