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Suffragists: Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement - Preface

Suffragists:  Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement (Illustration) Ethics American Presidents Biographies Famous Historical Events Social Studies Nineteenth Century Life American History Government Law and Politics Civil Rights

Photograph depicting oposition to Women's Suffrage.  Original maintained by the U.S. Library of Congress.  Image online, courtesy Library of Congress.

 

Failure is not
an option.

Susan B. Anthony
Commenting on women gaining the right to vote

Two decades into the 20th century, most American women still did not have the right to vote in national elections. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Abigail Adams, for example, reminded her husband (before he helped to finalize the Declaration of Independence) that political freedom was a right for all, not just a right for men.

But as the country’s founders dodged the slavery question in the Declaration of Independence, so they refused to grant women what they gave themselves in the new country’s Constitution. In the spring of 1776, near the end of her letter to John, Abigail had warned:

In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could.

If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

When John Adams responded (on April 14, 1776) that “we know better than to repeal our masculine systems,” future American women—just like those in Victorian Britain—were forced to do exactly what Abigail had predicted.

This story is a brief pictorial history about some of those who led that rebellion.  

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5139stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Jan 20, 2017


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