History of The Women's Suffrage Movement in America
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." That was Margaret Mead's conclusion after a lifetime of observing very diverse cultures around the world. Her insight has been borne out time and again throughout the development of this country of ours. Being allowed to live life in an atmosphere of religious freedom, having a voice in the government you support with your taxes, living free of lifelong enslavement by another person. Many once considered these beliefs about how life should and must be lived outlandish. But visionaries whose steadfast work brought about changed minds and attitudes fervently held these beliefs. Now these beliefs are commonly shared across U.S. society.
The Woman's Suffrage Movement in the 1800s Suffrage is the right or exercise of the right to vote in public affairs.
The freedom of an individual to express a desire for a change in government by choosing between competing people or ideas without fear of reprisal is basic to self-government. Any exclusion from the right to suffrage, or as it is also called, the franchise, excludes that person from a basic means for participation in the political decision-making process. In the United States at the time the Constitution was written, it is estimated that only six percent of the adult male population was entitled to vote. Under the influence of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy, religious and property qualifications were eliminated. Racial barriers to voting existed legally until the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified after the civil war. Although the struggle to achieve equal rights for women to vote did not include a declared national war, it was nevertheless, a fierce battle fought primarily by determined female "soldiers".