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Before women were allowed to vote in America, a decades-long fight for this right was popularly known as Women’s Suffrage. This movement began in the early nineteenth century when most reform groups, including various antislavery organizations, started to arise. After participating in these reforms, women became open-minded about their rights and what it meant to be a citizen in America. Consequently, the fact that only selected white men were allowed to vote was identified as a problem, and with the idea that women were autonomous persons who merited their own political identities, the women’s suffrage movement was born. Some of the women that emerged from the antislavery movements were Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Weber, 2016). The latter helped organize the first women’s rights convention in New York in 1848. Later, she joined Elizabeth Stanton and founded the National Woman Suffrage Association.

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Moreover, another suffragist leader, Susan B. Anthony, would also emerge, and together with Elizabeth Stanton, they formed the National Woman Suffrage Association (Clack, Neely, & Hamby,2009). However, to secure their right to vote, this association allied with racist organizations, arguing that by allowing white women to vote, the black votes would be neutralized (Dudden, 2014). This created a divide in the suffrage movement, and another association, the American Woman Suffrage Association, was formed. These divides within the organization, combined with unfortunate events like the Civil War and World War 1, all interrupted the momentum of the suffrage movement and delayed its effectiveness. Even though women’s suffrage took place during a period whereby society was misogynistic, I believe the movement was influential in the very first stages. In the final stages of the early 20th century, when the 19th Amendment was ratified to allow women to vote, the Amendment still excluded other people who were also considered American citizens. Considering the movement’s main goal was to ensure every citizen had the right to vote, this legislation was not as successful. However, if the associations had worked with black people, both parties would have gotten the right to vote. Instead, black people did not gain their right to vote until the late 20th century through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Dierenfield, 2013), which was also the case for most women, even white women, especially those considered poor. Notably, women’s suffrage also took place in the late 20th century to fight for women’s right to vote, implying that the first legislation was not as effective (Balkin, 2002).


Balkin, J. M. (2002). History Lesson. Legal Aff, 44-49.

Clack, G., Neely, M. S., & Hamby, A. (2009). Outline of US history. Nova Science Publishers, Incorporated.

Dierenfield, B. J. (2013). The Civil Rights Movement: Revised edition. Routledge.

Dudden, F. E. (2014). Fighting Chance: The Struggle over Women and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America. Oxford University Press.

Weber, S. (2016). The Woman Suffrage Statue: A History of Adelaide Johnson’s Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony at the United States Capitol. McFarland.


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Evaluate the effectiveness of people and legislation in establishing change for one of the following progressive reforms. Include a summary of the problem, the people involved, events, and legislation (if applicable) associated with your progressive reform. Support your adequate opinion with examples and cite all your sources.
Women’s Suffrage
Political Corruption
Occupational and Building Safety

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