The 1924 Election: Suffrage and Election Outcome

Topics: Women's suffrage, Elections, Suffragette Pages: 7 (2461 words) Published: December 14, 2011
The first twenty years of the 1900’s woman fought for the right to vote. Suffrage rocked the masculine mystique that held women under the perception of the fair sex, which disabled them to make important decisions politically, which influenced American government. However, in 1920 that mystique was shattered when women were granted the right to vote and given a voice in shaping the nation. This new group of voters was now influencing the 1924 presidential, state, and local elections. Men in the United States held social perceptions of women that influenced the women’s suffrage movement and the election of 1924. Efforts were made to persuade women to vote and participate in democracy; however, political parties also reacted to these new potential voters concerning campaign strategies and tactics to keep women away from the polls. Despite this massive change for the voting rights of women, the election of 1924 was only slightly impacted by the wave to newly franchised women voters. The history of the women’s suffrage movement goes farther back than the early 20th century social movements. The seeds of women suffrage were planted through the Seneca Falls convention in 1848. This convention organized by New York women in response to oppressive U.S. government that held women socially inferior. The women of the Seneca Falls convention raised many grievances against the United States government in a similar format as to how American patriots wrote the Declaration of Independence, (Sparacino, 2004). Suffrage was not the entire or main focus of the movement. Instead, the convention focused on a wide range of social injustice that they believed affected women. The document that held the grievances was known as the Declaration of Sentiments, and it was the first big step for American women to gain their social freedom. The convention at Seneca Falls gives a good starting point to the women’s suffrage movement, which lasted over 70 years until women’s voting rights were finally granted in 1920 by the passing of the 19th Amendment. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were both extremely influential women’s rights activists who helped organize the Seneca Falls convention. In 1878, Stanton and Anthony had drafted an amendment to the U.S. constitution that would prohibit any U.S citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. Forty-one years later the amendment was finally submitted to the United States Senate for ratification. Since the federal ratification of suffrage was such a long process, women activists made strides to grant women suffrage on the state level. For instance, historian Holly J. McCammon argues that “By 1919, when Congress passed the 19th Amendment granting women full voting right in the United States, 13 out of the 16 western states had already granted women full suffrage” (McCammon & Campbell, 2001) The amendment that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony had drafted went through much turmoil and disappointment before it was finally enacted in 1920. Upon the amendments first appearance, it would have to survive a long period of waiting. The amendment posed to the United States senate in 1878, where a large majority voted it down. After this setback, the women’s suffrage movement stagnated, as there were no major political victories for women’s rights for about 30 years (Patterson, 2008). Some political party’s understood that the women’s vote would be very helpful to them if they could captivate women’s ideals. For example, Woodrow Wilson pushed for the installment of the 19th Amendment because the progressive women vote would help him in elections. Since Wilson was a deemed a progressive president, the liberal votes of women would certainly boost his electoral votes. Negative and debilitating social perceptions of women during the women’s suffrage movement stalled the progress of women’s rights. The stereotypical women in the early 1900’s were far different from the ideals...

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