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Nineteenth Amendment: The Struggle for Women’s Right to Vote (Essay Sample)


THIS TASK AND SAMPLE WAS ABOUT THE STRUGGLE FOR WOMEN'S RIGHT TO VOTE. IN PARTICULAR, IT DISCUSSES THE STRUGGLES EXPERIENCED BY WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE THE RATIFICATION OF THE NINETEENTH AMENDMENT: - A LAW THAT GRANTS ALL AMERICANS OF AGE THE RIGHT TO VOTE REGARDLESS OF SEX. In the 1800s, women were already discussing equality issues affecting them and the rest of America. During this time, America was still a segregated society. Therefore, the struggle for equality was always on people’s minds.


Nineteenth Amendment: The Struggle for Women’s Right to Vote
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Nineteenth Amendment: The Struggle for Women’s Right to Vote
The Nineteenth Amendment is a law that grants all Americans of age the right to vote regardless of sex. However, it took several years before this law became part of the United States constitution. Women’s suffrage traces its origins to the nineteenth century. In 1848, women from the state of New York held a meeting where they launched the women’s rights movement. In this essay, the author discusses the women's struggle before getting the right to vote.
In the 1800s, women were already discussing equality issues affecting them and the rest of America. During this time, America was still a segregated society. Therefore, the struggle for equality was always on people’s minds. But women were determined to have their voices heard. American law did not grant women independence. Society viewed women as a delicate and spiritual sex whose role remained in the household. Women had no income, and those who earned any submitted it to their husbands. Also, women had no property or employment rights (McCammon & Banaszak, 2018). Still, some leaders, such as Elizabeth Stanton, believed that women should at least have the right to vote. Hence, in 1848, they declared the struggle for women’s right to vote.
One of the challenges they faced after the 1848 Convention was the split between the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). Before women’s suffrage started, African Americans had been fighting for equality for years. African American men were already seeking the right to vote. Although the AWSA supported the fifteenth amendment, the NWSA did not. AWSA members felt women’s suffrage would prevent the fifteenth amendment from passing (McCammon & Banaszak, 2018). Thus, their organization acted as a supporter of African American men’s voting rights. The leaders of the AWSA sought to use the support for African American men’s voting rights as a path to obtaining the same for women. However, the NWSA did not have the same opinion. The NWSA wanted to differentiate women’s struggle from the African American struggle. Due to the intense segregated nature of American society during this time, most white women believed they should get the right to vote before African Americans (Ware, 2019).
Besides the split in the NWSA and the AWSA, there was a division among white women. Most white women in the upper class were against women’s suffrage (Porter & Munn, 2019). They opposed the movement citing various reasons. One was the moral and spiritual superiority of women. Women from the higher echelons of American society argued that the fairer sex had a unique role in society. They were the moral and spiritual compass of the community. Therefore, they should not meddle in politics because that would lead to corruption (Porter & Munn, 2019).
Significant opposition came from men. When news of the Seneca Falls Convention reached the papers, private and public citizens dismissed it (Ware, 2019). Men opposed women’s suffrage in their homes, and politicians did the same in public appearances. The opposition was so intense that cases of domestic abuse emerged. During protests for women’s suffrage, men responded in the same way. They attacked and abused them. Also, men were worried that the success of women’s suffrage would lead to prohibition (Porter & Munn, 2019). Although this came later, women had expressed their dislike for alcohol for a long time. Therefore, men became more united in opposition to women’s right to vote. Businesses also opposed women’s suffrage because they feared it would lead to accusations of child labor. By this time, most businesses used children for labor. Over time, people had expressed displeasure in such practice. Business owners saw women’s suffrage as a sure way to end child labor (Ware, 2019).
Due to race issues in America, the women’s movement was divided again between white and African American women (Terborg-Penn, 2020). After the NWSA expressed the priority of white women’s rights over African Americans, race became an issue. Up to this point, African American women supported the movement. Afterward, however, they split to form their groups (Ware, 2019). When the civil war started, the struggle lost momentum.
In the early 1970s, women extended their protests by actively participating in the voting process (Weiss, 2018). In most cases, this led to violence as police tried to disperse women from polling stations. Women used the opportunity to file lawsuits against the government. They believed the lawsuits would increase pressure on the government. In 1872, police arrested Susan Anthony for voting in the presidential electi

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