Voting Booth: Women Haven't Always Been Equal

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Part 2: The Start of Something Big

The first serious movement to give women the right to vote was started in the early 1840s. It ended in 1848 with a national convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The leaders of this movement were Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony. At the convention, they drafted a Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, which said that "all men and women are created equal."

But women still couldn't vote. And it wasn't just America. Women couldn't vote anywhere in the world. New Zealand, in 1893, became the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote in national elections. Great Britain had, in 1869, given unmarried women the right to vote in local elections.

(Again, it was thought that a woman's place was in the home, not in politics. Having the right to vote was thought to be equal to having the right to run for political office.)

In 1866, Stanton and Anthony formed the Equal Rights Association, which wanted equal rights for all people, men and women, white and black.

In 1872, more than a hundred women tried to vote in New Jersey. They were allowed to fill out ballots, but their ballots were ignored. Susan B. Anthony was arrested for trying to vote for president. She was convicted and ordered to pay $1,000.

In 1884, Belva Lockwood ran for president on the National Equal Rights Party ticket. She got more than 4,000 votes in a total of six states. Lockwood was the first woman lawyer to argue cases before the Supreme Court.

Next page > The Victory Is Won > Page 1, 2, 3

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White