Published on March 10, 2014
WOMEN RIGHTS TO VOTE Women Striking
USA Originally the U.S. Constitution didn’t say much about who had the right to vote. The country’s framers left it up to the states to decide. Most states initially limited voting rights to white male property owners. Over time they extended voting rights to nearly all white men. After the Civil War, three amendments were added to the Constitution. These additions at the federal level freed the slaves, made them citizens and granted them voting rights. The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, specifically identified “voters” as male. The 15th Amendment gave the vote to black men.
AMERICAN SUFFRAGETTES Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others refused to endorse the amendment because it did not give women the vote. Stanton and Anthony formed the National Woman Suffrage Association to work for suffrage on the federal level and to press for more extensive institutional changes, such as the granting of property rights to married women. In 1890 the two groups united under the name National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). In the same year Wyoming entered the Union, becoming the first state with general women's suffrage.
Another prominent suffragist was Alice Paul. Paul organized the National Woman's Party, which used such strategies as mass marches and hunger strikes. Perseverance on the part of both organizations eventually led to victory. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment granted the ballot to American women.
CONTRIBUTING TO WAR EFFORT
UK In 1832 a Reform of the Vote Law was passed in the Parliament. The Law used the word “male” instead of people to define the right of vote, excluding women from the vote. The first leaflet advocating votes for women appeared in 1847.
JOHN STUART MILL Philosopher, economist and politician. In his work Considerations on Representative Government, defends two fundamental principles, extensive participation by citizens and enlightened competence of rulers. In 1867 presented an amendment to the Reform Act that would give women the same political rights. Mill amendment was defeated by 196 votes to 73.
In1867 Lydia Becker founded the first women's suffrage committee, in Manchester. Other committees were quickly formed, and in 1897 they united as the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, with Millicent Garret Fawcett. The British suffragists struggled to overcome traditional values and prejudices.
Frustrated by the prevailing social and political stalemate, some women became more militant. Emmeline Pankhurst, founded the Women's Social and Political Union in 1903. Her followers, called "suffragettes," heckled politicians, practiced civil disobedience, and were frequently arrested for inciting riots. Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters
When World War I started, the proponents of women's suffrage ceased their activities and supported the war effort. In February 1918 women over the age of 30 received the right to vote. Suffrage rights for men and women were equalized in 1928.
II WORLD WAR
SUFFRAGE IN SPAIN Clara Campoamor was a Spanish politician and feminist best known for her advocacy for women's rights and suffrage during the writing of the Spanish constitution of 1931. She became active in a number of women's organizations before standing for election as a member of the 1931 Constituent Assembly, to which she and two other women were elected despite that Spanish women could not vote at the time. Her advocacy led to the inclusion of language in the 1931 constitution of Spain that guaranteed equality between men and women.
She became the first woman to address the constituent assembly of Spain that October, in a speech warning the male members of the assembly that their continued exclusion of women from voting was a violation of natural law. Her strong advocacy for women's rights was opposed not only by political conservatives and conservative but by men on the left and even one of only two other woman in the assembly, Victoria Kent, who felt the time was not right to push for equality. When her own party decided to oppose women's suffrage, she left the party and continued to advocate for suffrage as an independent member of the assembly.
Women's suffrage was officially adopted in 1931. Women voted in general elections in 1933 and 1936. From 1936 to 1977 nobody voted freely. Women and men voted again in 1977. President Adolfo Suarez and his wife.
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