Women's Rights Movement

by: Emily Wilks

Where it All Began-1848

Women were not allowed to attend The London Convention and as a result, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott decided to have their own meeting. As the weeks passed more women decided to come and their idea of a small meeting turned into a convention. At this convention, Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments which was a revision of The Declaration of Independence. Switching things like "all men were created equal," to "all men an women were created equal," and changing "King George" as being a cause of their ills to "all men." 68 women and 32 men signed the Declaration of Sentiments and although this convention was relatively successful, there were no women of color in attendance.


More than 1,000 men and women attended the first National Women's Rights Convention in Worchester Massachusetts. Meetings were held every year from this point on for a decade expect 1857.


May- Elizabeth Cady Stanton left the Women's Rights Movement because after the abolition of slavery, she thought it was foolish that people were finally seeing the unjustness of taking rights away from people with different skin color, but not seeing that the same thing was happening to their mothers, sisters and wives. Together, Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed the National Women's Suffrage Association in hopes that they could win women the right to be able to vote with an amendment to the Constitution.

November- Lucy Stone Henry Blackwell and others formed the American Women's Suffrage Association also hoping to win women the right to vote through the amendments to individual state constitutions.

December- Wyoming becomes the first state to pass the women's suffrage law and soon women begin serving in juries on the territory.


The National Women's Suffrage Association and the American Women's Suffrage Association merge and form National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and began to move from state to state campaigning to obtain women's right to vote.


Colorado was the first state to adopt the amendment and allow women to vote. Utah and Idaho did the same in 1896. Washington state adopted the amendment in 1910, California did in 1911, Oregon, Kansas and Arizona did in 1912. Alaska and Illinois adopted it in 1913, Montana and Nevada followed suit in 1914, New York did so in 1917 and Michigan, South Dakota, and Oklahoma adopted it in 1918.


The National Association of Colored Women(NACW) was formed which influenced more than 100 black woman's groups. Later it would turn into The National Association of Colored Women's Clubs(NACWC). Leaders of this movement were Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Mary Church Terrell, Anna Julia Cooper and Harriet Tubman. They instituted the motto "Lifting as We Climb," and Terrell was renowned for making an ambitious agenda for the organization that focused on job training, wage equity, and child care. They also fundraised for things like summer camps, retirement homes, and schools.


The National Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) is established to advocate for improved wages and working conditions for women.


Alice Paul and Lucy Burns form the Congressional Union to try to help them pass a federal amendment for women's suffrage. Later they're renamed the National Women's Party. Members of this group picket the White House and participate in other forms of civil disobedience.


Margaret Sanger opens a birth control clinic in Brooklyn that is shut down 10 days after opening, and Sanger is arrested. Eventually she wins the support of many people and the court system, she is able to open another clinic in New York City in 1923


The federal women suffrage amendment that was originally written by Susan B. Anthony in 1878 was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate and sent to the states for ratification.


The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor is formed to collect information about women at work to make sure their working conditions were up to par.

August 26

The 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution that granted women the right to vote was signed into law by Secretary of State, Bainbridge Colby.

Women's Rights Movement, right to vote


Women gained permits to march down Pennsylvania Avenue past The White House in support of women's suffrage. Many women were assaulted, from being spit on to being physically attacked. Many women were injured by people who didn't agree with women being able to vote, but the outrage of the public violence led to more support for suffrage.

Women's approach to gaining their rights were imaginative and versatile. They drew inspiration from British suffrage campaigns, the American labor movements along with the antislavery and earlier women's rights campaigns in the United States.


Women of this time period thought it was disrespectful to be seen as inferior to men. They wanted the right to vote, and the respect of their fellow Americans.