Timeline of women's suffrage in the United States
This is a timeline of women's suffrage in the United States.
1777: Women lose the right to vote in New York.
1780: Women lose the right to vote in Massachusetts.
1790: The colony of New Jersey grants the vote to "all free inhabitants," including women.
1784: Women lose the right to vote in New Hampshire.
1787: The U.S. Constitutional Convention places voting qualifications in the hands of the states. Women in all states except New Jersey lose the right to vote.
1807: Women lose the right to vote in New Jersey, the last state to revoke the right.
1848: The Seneca Falls Convention, an early and influential women's rights convention, is held in Seneca Falls, New York. Women's suffrage is proposed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and agreed to after an impassioned argument from Frederick Douglass.
1853: On the occasion of the World's Fair in New York City, suffragists hold a meeting in the Broadway Tabernacle.
1861-1865: The American Civil War. Most suffragists focused on the war effort and suffrage activity was minimal.
1867: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone address a subcommittee of the New York State Constitutional Convention requesting that the revised constitution include woman suffrage. Their efforts fail.
1867: Kansas holds a state referendum on whether to enfranchise women and/or black males. Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton traverse the state speaking in favor of women suffrage. Both women and black male suffrage is voted down.
1869: The territory of Wyoming is the first to grant unrestricted suffrage to women.
1870: The Utah Territory grants suffrage to women.
1870: The 15th amendment to the U. S. Constitution is adopted. The amendment grants suffrage to former male African-American slaves, but not to women. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton 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.
1869: The suffrage movement splits into the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association. The NWSA is formed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony after their accusing abolitionist and Republican supporters of emphasizing black civil rights at the expense of women's rights. The AWSA is formed by Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and it protests the confrontational tactics of the NWSA and tied itself closely to the Republican Party while concentrating solely on securing the vote for women state by state. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the first president of the National Woman Suffrage Association, a position she held until 1893. Julia Ward Howe was the first president of the American Woman Suffrage Association.
1870: Wyoming territory grants its first women suffrage since 1807.
1871: Victoria Woodhull speaks to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, arguing that women have the right to vote under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but the committee does not agree.
1871: The Anti-Suffrage Society is formed.
1872: A suffrage proposal before the Dakota Territory legislature loses by one vote.
1874: There is a referendum in Michigan on women's suffrage, but women's suffrage loses.
1875: Women in Michigan and Minnesota win the right to vote in school elections.
1878: A federal amendment to grant women the right to vote is introduced for the first time by Senator A.A. Sargeant of California.
1880: New York state grants school suffrage to women.
1882: The U.S. House and Senate both appoint committees on women's suffrage, which both report favorably.
1883: Women in the Washington territory are granted full voting rights.
1884: The U.S. House of Representatives debates women's suffrage.
1886: The suffrage amendment is defeated two to one in the U.S. Senate.
1887: Women in Utah lose the right to vote.
1887: The Supreme Court strikes down the law that enfranchised women in the Washington territory.
1887: In Kansas, women win the right to vote in municipal elections.
1887: Rhode Island becomes the first eastern state to vote on a women's suffrage referendum, but it does not pass.
1890: The National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association merge to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Its first president is Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The focus turns to working at the state level.
1890: A suffrage campaign loses in South Dakota.
1894: Despite 600,000 signatures, a petition for women suffrage is ignored in New York.
1895: Women suffrage returns to Utah.
1895: The New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage begins.
1896: Idaho grants women suffrage.
1902: The men of New Hampshire vote down a women's suffrage referendum.
1906: Elizabeth Cady Stanton's daughter, Harriot Stanton Blatch, returns from England and disapproves of the National American Woman Suffrage Association's conservatism. She responds by forming the Equality League of Self Supporting Women, to reach out to the working class.
1911: California grants women suffrage.
1911: In New York City, 3,000 people march for women suffrage.
1912: Arizona grants women suffrage.
1912: Kansas grants women suffrage.
1912: Alaska's territorial legislature grants women suffrage.
1913: Alice Paul organizes the women's suffrage parade on the eve of Wilson's inauguration. It is the largest suffrage parade to date and consists of 10,000 people marching down Fifth Avenue in New York City on May 10th. The parade is attacked by a mob. Hundreds of women are injured, but no arrests are made.
1913: The Alaskan Territory grants women suffrage.
1913: Illinois grants municipal and presidential but not state suffrage to women.
1913: The Senate votes on a women suffrage amendment, but it does not pass.
1914: Nevada grants women suffrage.
1914: Montana grants women suffrage.
1915: Anna Howard Shaw's tactical conservatism culminates in a loss of support from the National American Woman Suffrage Association members. She resigns and Carrie Chapman Catt replaces her as president.
1916: Woodrow Wilson promises that the Democratic Party Platform will endorse women suffrage.
1917: Beginning in January, the National Women's Party posts silent "Sentinels of Liberty," also known as the Silent Sentinels, at the White House. The National Women's Party is the first group to picket the White House. In June, the arrests begin. Nearly 500 women are arrested, and 168 women serve jail time.
1917: The U.S. enters W.W.I. Under the leadership of Carrie Chapman Catt, the National American Woman Suffrage Association aligns itself with the war effort in order to gain support for women's suffrage.
1917: Arkansas grants women the right to vote in primary, but not general elections.
1917: Indiana grants women presidential suffrage.
1917: Nebraska grants women presidential suffrage.
1917: North Dakota grants women presidential suffrage.
1917: Michigan grants women presidential suffrage.
1917: Rhode Island grants women presidential suffrage.
1917: The Oklahoma state constitution grants women suffrage.
1917: The South Dakota state constitution grants women suffrage.
1918: The jailed suffragists are released from prison. An appellate court rules all the arrests were illegal.
1918: The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which eventually granted women suffrage, passes the U.S. House with exactly a two-thirds vote but loses by two votes in the Senate. Jeannette Rankin opened debate on it in the House, and President Wilson addressed the Senate in support of it.
1918: President Wilson declares his support for women suffrage.
1919: Michigan grants women full suffrage.
1919: Oklahoma grants women full suffrage.
1919: South Dakota grants women full suffrage.
1919: In January, the National Women's Party lights and guards a "Watchfire for Freedom." It is maintained until the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passes the U.S. Senate on June 4th.
1920: The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, stating, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation," is ratified by Tennessee on August 18th. It becomes law on August 26th, 1920.
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