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Voting Booth: Women Haven't Always Been Equal

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• Part 2: The Start of Something Big
Part 3: The Victory Is Won

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The 20th Century

Part 1: Hard to Believe

It might sound hard to believe, but women in America have been voting for only 80 years.

That's right. Only since 1920 have women been allowed to vote. The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote.

Why did this happen? Isn't America the land where "all men are created equal"? Well, yes and no. Since men have run the country and were in charge of passing the laws since our country began, they believed that women's place was in the home, not in politics. This belief extended to voting. The men who made the laws believed that their wives and daughters and mothers weren't informed enough about the men running for office to decide for themselves whom to vote for. So, women couldn't vote.

In fact, it wasn't entirely clear in the early days of the United States whether women could vote. So the state legislatures passed laws saying that women couldn't vote.

Wyoming, in 1807, allowed women to vote in state and local elections. But Wyoming was just a territory. It took awhile, but some states followed. However, these women were allowed to vote only in local and state elections. They still couldn't vote for president or Congress.

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