The Suffragette Tactics that Secured the Vote
One hundred years ago, on June 4, 1919, Congress approved the Nineteenth Amendment, acknowledging women's right to vote. The language of the Amendment had been written by Susan B. Anthony and was first introduced in Congress 41 years earlier, in 1878. After its approval, it would take another year for all the states to ratify it, at which point the Nineteenth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920.
The victory of the Nineteenth Amendment came after nearly 75 years of persistent organizing efforts by suffragettes. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of women across the globe marched, lectured, wrote, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve the vote for all women. In the United States, many sought to change the laws one state at a time, while others legally challenged voting legislation. Civil disobedience acts like hunger strikes, vigils, marches, and protests were also common with suffrage champions in the United States and abroad. Although strategies varied, all encountered staunch resistance and social criticism from opponents, some even facing imprisonment.
Bring this history to life with the resources in our Primary Source Connection, located in the Background Resources menu, organized through the focusing question—What tactics did the suffragists use in their struggle to win women's right to vote? Through curated primary sources and secondary support content, students can analyze the foundations and development of the international suffrage movement, key leaders in the fight for women's right to vote, and the various strategies women used to advocate for suffrage. Iconic speeches and images of the period will take students further into the turning points of the movement and work hand-in-hand with individualized primary source analysis worksheets to engage deeper inquiry. Use our Instruction for additional classroom-ready ideas on how to bring the suffrage movement into your classroom and library in new ways.
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