Women’s Suffrage Movement Timeline


Timeline Of Women’s Suffrage In The United States

Women’s Suffrage: Crash Course US History #31

This timeline highlights milestones in women’s suffrage in the United States, particularly the right of women to vote in elections at federal and state levels.


1789: The Constitution of the United States grants the states the power to set voting requirements. Generally, states limited this right to property-owning or tax-paying white males . However, New Jersey also gave the vote to unmarried and widowed women who met the property qualifications, regardless of color. Married women were not allowed to own property and hence could not vote.

Women’s Suffrage In The Progressive Era

Immediately after the Civil War, Susan B. Anthony, a strong and outspoken advocate of women’s rights, demanded that the Fourteenth Amendment include a guarantee of the vote for women as well as for African-American males. In 1869, Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association. Later that year, Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and others formed the American Woman Suffrage Association. However, not until the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1919 did women throughout the nation gain the right to vote.

Not all women believed in equality for the sexes. Women who upheld traditional gender roles argued that politics were improper for women. Some even insisted that voting might cause some women to “grow beards.” The challenge to traditional roles represented by the struggle for political, economic, and social equality was as threatening to some women as it was to most men.

To find additional documents on this topic in Loc.gov, use such key words as women’s rights, equality, social reform, and voting rights.

May 1: American Equal Rights Association Formed

This association aimed for equal rights for all U.S. citizens. While especially focused on votes for women at this time, it also tackled inequality based on race, according to American History USA . They made a pledge at the 11th National Woman’s Rights Convention to achieve suffrage for women of all races.

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When Did The Women’s Suffrage Movement Start

The womens suffrage movement made the question of womens voting rights into an important political issue in the 19th century. The struggle was particularly intense in Great Britain and in the United States, but those countries were not the first to grant women the right to vote, at least not on a national basis.

Timeline Of The Women’s Suffrage Movement: 1903

Female Suffrage Around the World

Timeline of the Women’s Suffrage Movement: 1903-1912 AFL, Amendment, Anti-Suffrage, Association, CESL, Chinese, Congress, Constitutional, Court, Convention, ELSSW, Expatriation, HERL, First, IAW, IWD, Legislature, March, NAOWS, New York City, Triangle, Union, WTUL, WTULNY

The word suffrage means voting as a right rather than a privilege, and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean an inalienable right to vote.

The word suffrage means voting as a right rather than a privilege, and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean an inalienable right to vote.

The numbers in identify the images in the photograph collection at the bottom of the page.

1903: New Hampshire Question 7, Women’s Suffrage Amendment On a March 10 referendum, voters in New Hampshire defeat a woman suffrage amendment to the states constitution by a margin of 2:1.

1907: Oklahoma woman suffrage On November 16, Oklahoma becomes a state, and in its Constitution, women receive the right to vote in school elections only.

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Strategies Harriet Tubman And Others Used To Escape Along The Underground Railroad

Jeanette Rankin of Montana, a former NAWSA lobbyist, becomes the first woman elected to Congress. With the U.S. entrance into World War I, NAWSA president Carrie Chapman Catt commits the organization to working toward the war effort. Paul and others take a different approach, holding peaceful protests outside the White House calling for Wilson to support womens suffrage. Many of the protesters are arrested and jailed for obstructing sidewalk traffic Paul and others undertake hunger strikes to bring attention to their cause.

On November 14, 1917, guards at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia beat and terrorize 33 women arrested for picketing, an ordeal that will become known as the Night of Terror.

READ MORE: Night of Terror: When Suffragists Were Imprisoned and Tortured

Womens Rights Movement Begins

The campaign for womens suffrage began in earnest in the decades before the Civil War. During the 1820s and ’30s, most states had extended the franchise to all white men, regardless of how much money or property they had.

At the same time, all sorts of reform groups were proliferating across the United Statestemperance leagues, religious movements, moral-reform societies, anti-slavery organizationsand in many of these, women played a prominent role.

Meanwhile, many American women were beginning to chafe against what historians have called the Cult of True Womanhood: that is, the idea that the only true woman was a pious, submissive wife and mother concerned exclusively with home and family.

Put together, all of these contributed to a new way of thinking about what it meant to be a woman and a citizen of the United States.

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May 21 1: First Large

On the streets of New York City, hundreds of women took to the streets in a parade of protest, according to the National Women’s History Museum . Later suffrage parades would soon rise to thousands of participants each year. This proved hugely successful in publicising the issue and recruiting more protesters. The parade was even given official city permission to become a recurring event.

Timeline Of The Women’s Suffrage Movement: 1850

Untold Stories of Black Women in the Suffrage Movement

Timeline of the Women’s Suffrage Movement: 1850-1868 Anthony, Association, Blackwell, Bloomer, Clark, Court, Davis, Douglass, Elections, Equal Rights, Foster, Garrison, Male, Property, Severance, Smith, Stanton, Stone, Stowe, Truth, Vineland

The word suffrage means voting as a right rather than a privilege, and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean an inalienable right to vote.

And the right to vote was what advocates of womens equality sought. They used suffrage in the phrase female suffrage or simply by itself, with the understanding that suffrage referred to voting rights for half of the adult population that had been excluded. The goal of the suffrage movement was accomplished in 1920 with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged … on account of sex. With that, the word suffrage was also retired. Since then, campaigns to extend the vote have simply called for voting rights.

The numbers in identify the images in the photograph collection at the bottom of the page.

1851: Sojourner Truths Speech On May 29: Sojourner Truth gives her Aint I a Woman speech at a Womens Convention in Akron, Ohio.

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Where Did Womens Suffrage Start

By the early years of the 20th century, women had won the right to vote in national elections in New Zealand , Australia , Finland , and Norway . World War I and its aftermath speeded up the enfranchisement of women in the countries of Europe and elsewhere. In the period 191439, women in 28 additional countries acquired either equal voting rights with men or the right to vote in national elections.

Mapping National Woman’s Party Offices And Actions

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Voting Rights By States 1869

These interactive maps show the woman suffrage campaign year-by-year and state-by-state from 1838-1919 as suffrage activists introduced legislation that often failed and at other times yielded only partial voting rights. Ratified in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution required all states to allow women to vote on the same basis as men, but the fight for voting rights had started more than a century earlier and had steadily piled up victories beginning in 1838 when the Kentucky legislature agreed that widows and unmarried women who owned property subject to taxation for school purposes would be allowed to vote in elections relating to schools.

Starting in 1869, legislation was introduced in one or more states nearly every year. The timeline and maps below record the defeats as well as victories, demonstrating the persistence and ingenuity of suffrage activists. They show too that many state legislatures were persuaded to allow partial voting rights, typically limited to school elections or the right to vote only in municipal or presidential elections. Here we track the outcome of 249 measures and the changing map of voting rights for women. The maps are hosted by Tableau Public and may take a few seconds to respond. If slow, refresh the page.

How Did The Women’s Suffrage Movement End

Suffragettes Movement timeline image

In the 21st century most countries allow women to vote. In Saudi Arabia women were allowed to vote in municipal elections for the first time in 2015. The United Nations Convention on the Political Rights of Women, adopted in 1952, provides that women shall be entitled to vote in all elections on equal terms with men, without any discrimination.

womens suffrage, also called woman suffrage, the right of women by law to vote in national or local elections.

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The Progressive Campaign For Suffrage

This animosity eventually faded, and in 1890 the two groups merged to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the organizations first president.

By then, the suffragists approach had changed. Instead of arguing that women deserved the same rights and responsibilities as men because women and men were created equal, the new generation of activists argued that women deserved the vote because they were different from men.

They could make their domesticity into a political virtue, using the franchise to create a purer, more moral maternal commonwealth.

This argument served many political agendas: Temperance advocates, for instance, wanted women to have the vote because they thought it would mobilize an enormous voting bloc on behalf of their cause, and many middle-class white people were swayed once again by the argument that the enfranchisement of white women would ensure immediate and durable white supremacy, honestly attained.

Did you know? In 1923, the National Woman’s Party proposed an amendment to the Constitution that prohibited all discrimination on the basis of sex. The so-called Equal Rights Amendment has never been ratified.

READ MORE: Why the Fight Over the Equal Rights Amendment Has Lasted Nearly a Century

Civil Rights And Women’s Rights During The Civil War

During the 1850s, the womens rights movement gathered steam, but lost momentum when the Civil War began. Almost immediately after the war ended, the 14th Amendment and the 15th Amendment to the Constitution raised familiar questions of suffrage and citizenship.

The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, extends the Constitutions protection to all citizensand defines citizens as male the 15th, ratified in 1870, guarantees Black men the right to vote.

Some womens suffrage advocates believed that this was their chance to push lawmakers for truly universal suffrage. As a result, they refused to support the 15th Amendment and even allied with racist Southerners who argued that white womens votes could be used to neutralize those cast by African Americans.

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Us Suffrage Movement Timeline 1869 To Present

1869 National Woman Suffrage Association is founded with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as president. American Woman Suffrage Association is founded with Henry Ward Beecher as president. Wyoming Territory grants suffrage to women.

1870 Utah Territory grants suffrage to women. First issue of the Womans Journal is published with Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Blackwell as editors. The 15th amendment to the U. S. Constitution is adopted. The amendment grants suffrage to former male African-American slaves, but not to women. Anthony and Stanton bitterly oppose the amendment, which for the first time explicitly restricts voting rights to males. Many of their former allies in the abolitionist movement, including Lucy Stone, support the amendment.

1871 Victoria Woodhull addresses the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives arguing that women have the right to vote under the 14th amendment. The Committee issues a negative report.

1872 In Rochester, NY, Susan B. Anthony registers and votes contending that the 14th amendment gives her that right. Several days later she is arrested.

1873 At Anthonys trial the judge does not allow her to testify on her own behalf, dismisses the jury, rules her guilty, and fines her $100. She refuses to pay.

1874 In Minor v. Happersett, the Supreme Court decides that citizenship does not give women the right to vote and that womens political rights are under the jurisdiction of each individual state.

1885 January 11: Alice Paul is born.

Timeline Of Women’s Suffrage

Women’s Suffrage Movement, Part 1 | History In A Nutshell

Women’s suffrage the right of women to vote has been achieved at various times in countries throughout the world. In many nations, women’s suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women and men from certain classes or races were still unable to vote. Some countries granted suffrage to both sexes at the same time. This timeline lists years when women’s suffrage was enacted. Some countries are listed more than once, as the right was extended to more women according to age, land ownership, etc. In many cases, the first voting took place in a subsequent year.

Some women in the Isle of Man gained the right to vote in 1881.

New Zealand was the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections from 1893. However women could not stand for election to parliament until 1919, when three women stood see 1919 in New Zealand.

The colony of South Australia allowed women to both vote and stand for election in 1894. In Sweden, conditional women’s suffrage was granted during the age of liberty between 1718 and 1772. But it was not until the year 1919 that equality was achieved, where women’s votes were valued the same as men’s.

In Saudi Arabia women were first allowed to vote in December 2015 in the municipal elections.

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Winning The Vote At Last

Starting in 1910, some states in the West began to extend the vote to women for the first time in almost 20 years. Idaho and Utah had given women the right to vote at the end of the 19th century.

Still, southern and eastern states resisted. In 1916, NAWSA president Carrie Chapman Catt unveiled what she called a Winning Plan to get the vote at last: a blitz campaign that mobilized state and local suffrage organizations all over the country, with special focus on those recalcitrant regions.

Meanwhile, a splinter group called the National Womans Party founded by Alice Paul focused on more radical, militant tacticshunger strikes and White House pickets, for instanceaimed at winning dramatic publicity for their cause.

World War I slowed the suffragists campaign but helped them advance their argument nonetheless: Womens work on behalf of the war effort, activists pointed out, proved that they were just as patriotic and deserving of citizenship as men.

Finally, on , the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. And on November 2 of that year, more than 8 million women across the United States voted in elections for the first time.

Timeline Of Women’s Suffrage Movement In Us


Equity Laws passed in Mississippi, New York and Massachusetts allowing married women to own property and separate from husbands.


First women’s rights convention met at Wesleyan church chapel in Seneca Falls, New York. The Declaration of Sentiments was adopted, mirroring the Declaration of Independence.


National Woman Suffrage Association was created by Anthony and Stanton. Stone and Beecher found the American Woman Suffrage Association. The NWSA worked to get a federal woman-suffrage law passed, and the AWSA worked to get state laws passed.


Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution were passed, granting suffrage to all American men, regardless of race or ethnicity. These amendments do not include women.


Thirteen women, including Anthony, are permitted to vote, by convincing the election inspectors that the 15th Amendment gave them the right to vote. The women and three inspectors are arrested and all fined. Anthony refused to pay her fine.


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