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Post Civil War Women's Rights Movement

Page history last edited by asfoley@... 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Suffrage parade in Washington

Suffrage parade in Washington



Topics on the Page


Women's Rights and Women Suffrage


African American Women and Suffrage


Susan B. Anthony

  • United States v. Susan B. Anthony (1873)


Ida B. Wells


Carrie Chapman Catt


Historical Biography page - Alice Paul, 19th Century Women's Rights Activist

  • Iron Jawed Angels


  Link to


Women Suffrage Movement Before the Civil War


Post Civil War Roles for Women and Women's Political Organizations


The Women's Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s


Link to AP US History Key Concept 6.2:  Social and Cultural Change



Focus Question: How did women struggle to gain basic civil rights in post-Civil War America?



Explore the Women's Movement from Ken Burns' Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.



MAP:  States Grant Women the Right to Vote







Suffragette banner carried in picket of the White House, 1918

Suffragette banner carried in picket of the White House, 1918

Lesson Plans

Click here for teaching modules on women's roles from 1837-1933

Click here for "Women's Suffrage: Their Rights and Nothing Less" from the Library of Congress

Click here for the lesson plan "Suffragists and Their Tactics" from the Library of Congress


Below is a pdf of a letter Woodrow Wilson wrote to Carrie Chapman Catt strongly supporting women's suffrage in 1918, 5 years after Alice Paul organized a march to protest his inauguration (when he insisted it was a state's rights issue). Wilson on Suffrage.pdf


 Lesson modules for Women's Suffrage Movement http://tag.rutgers.edu/teaching-toolbox/classroom-resources/lesson-module-womens-suffrage-in-the-united-states/

Women's Fight for the Vote: The Nineteenth Amendment. The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920.

Test Your Women's History IQ from the National Women's History Project.

For a children's literature connection, see The Taxing Case of the Cows: A True Story about Suffrage. See also, Abby, Julia and the Cows from American Heritage Magazine.


Wyoming was the first individual state to legalize white women's suffrage, in 1869.


  • The fight continued, however, for national suffrage.


  • In a 1917 national rally for white women's suffrage, Wyoming sent Mary Bellamy to represent the state. Bellamy was also the state's first female state representative, and she worked extensively with the League of Women Voters and Carrie Chapman Catt.

For the Schoolhouse Rock video on women's suffrage, click here.


The (white) Women's Suffrage Movement has recently been further examined and criticized for participating in white surpremacy to get women the right to vote.


  • In particular, Elizabeth Cady Stanton used the spector of Black men gaining "superiority" over white women to fight against the 15th amendment and make the case for white women's suffrage. “What will we and our daughters suffer if these degraded black men are allowed to have the rights that would make them even worse than our Saxon fathers?” she once said. 




For more on how the Women's Suffrage Movement "sold out" to white supremacy - How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women - New York Times


For more on the forgotten African American women in the Women's Suffrage Movement - When the Suffrage Movement Sold Out To White Supremacy - New York Times


Here is a link to 5 African American Suffragists You Should Know.


For an excellent article about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her views of women and which women counted - For Stanton, Not All Women Were Created Equal - NPR


"That's why when people talk about Stanton and women's rights and her devotion to women, my first question is always, 'Which women? What are the issues here? Which women are we talking about? Whose concerns are going to take priority?' And then, along the way, and this is where my disagreement with Stanton is strongest: Whose rights are you going to put down in the process of demanding your own?"


For a humorous but informative article about the views of many different white suffragettes - Suffragettes Who Sucked: White Supremacy and Women's Rights - The Toast


Suffragette: Anna Howard Shaw, 1847-1919 (Physician, Methodist minister, president of the National Woman Suffrage Association, inspiration for an episode of 30 Rock)


Hooray: “Around me I saw women overworked and underpaid, doing men’s work at half men’s wages, not because their work was inferior, but because they were women.”


Wait, What: “You have put the ballot in the hands of your black men, thus making them political superiors of white women. Never before in the history of the world have men made former slaves the political masters of their former mistresses!” 


Article about how xenophobia and racism became entangled in the movement https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-midwestern-suffragists-won-vote-by-attacking-immigrants-180970298/


Image result for susan b anthonySusan B. Anthony

Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts in 1820. She was raised a Quaker.

  • She was a teacher for 15 years and then became active in the temperance movement. However, she was not allowed to speak at temperance rallies because she was a woman.


  • She met Elizabeth Cady Stanton during this time. The two women became partners in their fight for women's suffrage.



  • Anthony was arrested for voting illegally. She refused to pay her bus fare for the ride to court because she felt she was traveling at the government's expense. In court, the jury was ordered to find her not guilty and she was fined $100.


  • In 1877, she gathered 10,000 signatures from 26 states supporting women's suffrage, which was presented to Congress and laughed at. Anthony spoke before Congress from 1881 to 1885 to ask for women's suffrage.


  • Anthony also assisted with writing the book, History of Women's Suffrage. She served as both Vice President and President of the National American Women Suffrage Association in her life.


  • Anthony also worked to end slavery, for the right of women to own property and keep their earnings and to form women's labor unions.



For more details, read her biography from the Susan B. Anthony House.

Click here for a timeline on Anthony's life and activism

For an audio reading of Susan B. Anthony's speech before the court after she was arrested, follow this link.


United States v. Susan B. Anthony (1873)


Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony

In the 1872 Presidential election, Susan B. Anthony and 13 other women voted illegally; the women were arrested and charged with "knowingly voting without having a lawful right to vote." This led to an historic case, United States v. Susan B. Anthony.

Sentencing in the case of United States v. Susan B. Anthony.

Speech After Being Convicted of Voting in the 1872 Presidential Election

Anthony's Signature on a 1864 Petition to Congress
Anthony's Signature on a 1864 Petition to Congress

An Appeal to Congress for Impartial Suffrage, Frederick Douglass, January 1881


  • Click here for activities on petitions from Susan B. Anthony to Congress


  • Click here for discussion questions on Anthony


Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)


  • Wells is best known for her journalism covering lynching in the United States, but she was also a feminist who took part in the Women's Suffrage Movement


  • She founded the first black woman suffrage group, Chicago's Alpha Suffrage Club in 1913 


  • Despite the NAWSA forbidding Wells to march in the front with the white leaders in the Suffrage March on Washington and instead told her to march in the back with the other white women. Yet Wells defied these orders and marched in the forefront of the March 







Carrie Chapman Catt


external image Essener_Feder_01.pngCarrie Chapman Catt Biography

Carrie Lane Chapman Catt was one of the main coordinators of the suffrage movement and was a skillful political strategist.


  • She was born in Wisconsin in 1859 and raised in Iowa. Chapman was the only female in her college's graduating class. She worked as a teacher, principal, and in 1883, she became the first female superintendent.


  • She also became San Francisco's first female journalist. Chapman revitalized the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and was a leader in its successful campaign to win the rights of women to vote.


  • This league was founded upon the ratification of the nineteenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.


Click here for a timeline of Carrie Chapman Catt's life


Click here for a video of her address to Congress in 1917. 


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