Women Suffrage

Essay by chiragarora17University, Bachelor'sA, January 2013

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Woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or marital status. Women's Suffrage is a subject that could easily be considered a black mark on the history of the United States. The entire history of the right for women to vote takes many twists and turns but eventually turned out alright.

The first recorded instance in American history where a woman demanded the right to vote was in 1647. Margaret Brent, a property owner in Maryland wanted two votes in the newly formed colonial assembly to represent her vote and the vote of Lord Baltimore whom she held power-of-attorney. (Pleck, 2007) The governor eventually turned down her demands. The 1790 constitution of New Jersey allowed women property owners the right to vote through a loophole that stated that "all inhabitants" that met property and residence requirements could vote.

This loophole was closed in 1807 by a state legislator that had almost lost an election due to a women's voting.

The organized movement started at Seneca Falls, NY with a meeting called by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. The women's movement took a back seat to the slavery movement during the American Civil War as the women turned their attention to working through the war. The revived movement of the Progressive era campaigns for equal political rights at the state level. After the war the women's movement split into rival factions with Stanton and Susan B. Anthony forming the National Woman's Suffrage Association and Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe forming the American Woman's Suffrage Association. The NWSA did not...