2010 Vote: Celebrating 90 Years of Women’s Right To Vote

August 18, 1920 Women earned the right to vote.  So Please let’s continue exercising this right.

I Couldn’t let this anniversary date go by with acknowledging it.

Question:  Who gained the right to vote first: women, or African Americans?

Answer:  Technically African American men gained the right before women but in much of the south from the time the 15th  was passed in 1870 until almost a century later in 1965 when the voting rights act was signed into law by President Johnson blacks were discouraged from voting.

Methods from imposing poll taxes that most of the blacks couldn’t afford and imposing literacy tests that most blacks seemed to fail not because they were stupid because many uneducated illiterate whites passed these tests with ease but because the people administering the tests were racists who wanted to prevent the blacks from voting at all costs, to violence against blacks seeking to exercise their right to vote was the norm through much of the south.

Celebrating 90 years since the ratification of the 19th amendment guaranteeing American women the right to vote.

The 19th amendment reads, simply:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex .”

19th Amendment
Though the Constitution originally made no mention of a woman’s right to vote, it was implied by society — women simply did not have the right. The 14th Amendment actually made things worse, by codifying the suffrage right to men only, when its Second Clause punished the denial of suffrage to men (though this still did not officially deny women the right). As early as 1848, groups met to discuss how to further women’s rights, and the franchise, it was decided, was the best place to start. But America was not ready, and the suffragists, as they were called, were branded as immoral.

Famous women’s rights leaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton tried to make a stand after the Civil War, to have the language of the 14th Amendment include women, though the issue was thought too volatile by most, and passage of the amendment was thought to be in grave jeopardy if such a provision were included. Anthony later used the 15th Amendment as rationale for voting in a New York election, and though she was tried and fined for voting, the ordeal proved an impetus for the eventual guarantee of voting rights for women. By 1918, about half the states had granted women full or partial voting rights; the stature gained by women involved in the temperance movement also helped push the suffragist movement along. The support of women to the war effort convinced many more, even President Woodrow Wilson, who had been staunchly opposed to a federal suffrage amendment. On June 4, 1919, the 19th Amendment was passed by Congress, and it was ratified on August 18, 1920 (441 days).  Read more here.

Of course it took this landmark legislation to enact full and equal rights for ALL:

Civil Rights Act of 1964

From the wiki: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (“public accommodations”).

Once the Act was implemented, its effects were far-reaching and had tremendous long-term impacts on the whole country. It prohibited discrimination in public facilities, in government, and in employment, invalidating the Jim Crow laws in the southern U.S. It became illegal to compel segregation of the races in schools, housing, or hiring.

Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment.

You can view the PBS video about the women’s suffrage movement titled, “Not For Ourselves Alone:  The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony here.

Because it’s good to know our history and honor the people who laid the foundation and helped to manifest it.

VOTE  2010!

Upated 8-20-10  And here’s a reminder why we need to punch the card, pull the leaver, blacken the circle for anyone other than a Republican.

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5 Responses to 2010 Vote: Celebrating 90 Years of Women’s Right To Vote

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