How Much Do You Know About …Women Suffrage?

August 22, 2019

Suffragists_demonstrating_on_Wall_Street copy

1. The first meeting of what would become the catalyst for the suffrage movement took place in 1848 in what town?

A)   Cleveland, Ohio
B)   Sioux Falls, Idaho
C)   Seneca Falls, New York
D)   Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Answer: C. Seneca Falls, New York. In 1840, when Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, they were forced into the gallery along with all the women who attended. Their indignation led them, eight years later, to organize the first U.S. women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York.

2. What year was woman suffrage ratified in the U.S. Constitution?

A) 1898
B) 1907
C) 1920
D) 1929

Answer: C. 1920. Although some states and territories had already given women the right to vote (on varying levels of national, state, and local elections), it was not ratified as national law until 1920.

3. Suffragists were all women. True or False?

Answer: False. Not all suffragists were women, and not all anti-suffragists were men. Numerous men were committed suffragists, and some were imprisoned and force-fed just like their female comrades. Many prominent women also proclaimed disapproval for the suffrage movement, arguing that women did not want to vote, and that it would mean competition with men rather than cooperation.

4. Which of these reasonings was used for denying women the right to vote?

A) 80% of women eligible to vote were married and would only double or annul their husband’s vote.
B) Most women did not want the vote and only a few, mostly radical, women would use it.
C) Women were too emotional and made decisions based on intuition.
D) All of the above.

Answer: D. All of the above. Many reasons were argued, but surprisingly, among the most organized came from women running the organization called the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. It published the first issue of The Anti-Suffragist in 1908. The quarterly magazine echoed the views of the anti-suffrage movement, which began in Massachusetts and New York in the 1890s and eventually gained a foothold in some 20 other states. For the most part, antisuffragists were middle-class, conservative, Protestant women who subscribed to the notion that women were biologically destined to be child-bearers and homemakers, whereas men were to be the lawmakers and leaders. In short, anti-suffragists believed it was against the laws of nature for women to seek enfranchisement.

5. Which was the first U.S. state or territory to give women the right to vote?

A) Mississippi
B) Wyoming
C) Maine
D) Pennsylvania

Answer: B. Wyoming. Women there had been voting since 1869 in Wyoming Territory, which only agreed to join the Union if this right was maintained. Congress threatened to deny statehood over the issue, but Wyoming wouldn’t back down.

Women in Politics: An Uneven Road Since Suffrage meets for 3 weeks on Tuesdays at 10:00 beginning September 23.