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Amy Lee

Mr. Marshall
U.S History/Block A
24 November 2014

The Womens Suffrage Movement

The equality and rights women hold today were obtained through the hard work and
effort of the women in history. The idea of suffrage, the right to vote, was beginning to spread
amongst the women soon after the African Americans were granted the right to vote, however it
had excluded women. To achieve voting rights, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
put together the National Women Suffrage Association (NWSA), which later was united with
another group with the same belief and became known as the National American Woman
Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The National American Woman Suffrage Association was an
organization to gain voting right for women. In addition, the more militant National Womans
Party (NWP) was formed which organized marches, pickets, and other protests to advance the
cause. They had faced many stumbling blocks along the way to attain equality. Three important
tactics used were closing ties between local, state and national workers, establishing wide base of
support and round-the-clock picket line each had significant impact on getting one step closer to
gaining suffrage.
One of the tactics that was used was to create close ties between local, state and national
workers. Their goal was to work together with one another to achieve what they need one by one.
This meant great commitments for the women, those who enter on this task, should go
prepared to give their lives and fortunes for success, and any pusillanimous coward among us

who dares to call retreat, should be court martialled (Document 5). Catt believed the women
should strive for their one and only goal, and should not fall apart once they have committed
themselves. Carrie Chapman Catt had a winning plan set for them if all goes well, when the
next national party platforms will be adopted, we should have won Iowa, South Dakota, north
Dakota (Document 5). Everyone has to trust and follow her lead if the plan were to succeed
as she expects to achieve it by using new strategies and tactics. Their motif was to work for
suffrage on a state-by-state foundation. However, there were impediments along the way,
President Wilson was against the suffrage movement of the women. Wilson did not really
support the women suffrage and it was not his priority when he entered into office. Women
picketed in front of the White House to gain support from the President, it started out peacefully
and had ended with violence. Women highly disliked him, Upon thousands of screens have
been thrown the slogansupon the women voters to vote against Wilson (Document 4). Since
he had kept women out of suffrage they did everything in their power in winning votes away
from Wilson.
Establishing a wide base of support was another method that was used in process of
gaining suffrage. Through the process, their goal was to find more supporters and to recruit more
people for the campaign. In the summer of 1912, the Third Assembly District of the Woman
Suffrage Party of Borough of Manhattan led some very active work. Their plan was to hold a
strike at the corner of Mott and Pell streets. Some people were against holding the meeting on
that street since it was considered restricted and had many rough sections of the city. Laidlaw
stated, our party, which aims to reach every section, sternly disallowed that any street,
byway, court or alley should be closed to us (Document 2). The suffragist had proceeded
anyways with the belief that the streets should not be restricted for their use. In hopes to gaining

more supporters they thought it was a great chance for them to lead a strike on Mott and Pell
streets since it contained varied crowds, We were sure the politicians from the surrounding
district political clubs would come out. We knew that many voters would be there who we could
reach (Document 2). They believed it was a great place to gain a variety of supporters that will
help them to succeed. However, it was the opposite of what they had expected, we were not
prepared to see the great orderly throng that greeted us. Many efficient police officers were
station about, and any slight disturbance were immediately quelled (Document 2). The outcome
of the meeting was not successful; police officers were station around the corner of Mott and
Pell, so that the suffragist could not do anything. The plan had not been carried as they had
expected it to. However, the women did not give up easily; they approached another arrangement
to achieve their goal.
Great number of failures led other suffragists to try more radical tactics such as roundthe-clock picket line around White House. A more radical organization was founded and formed
by Lucy Burns and Alice Paul. This method did not end with great result, which led to harsh
treatments towards women. During the strike some of the picketers were arrested, jailed, and
forced fed during their hunger strike; they were harshly treated at the time. It does not seem
right to treat American women who have petitioned for the suffrage in the manner in which the
women militants who have been released from Occoquan jail have been treated (Document
7). Women were treated as prisoners for fighting for what they believed, to bring equality
amongst the women. They treated the women very harshly as if they were doing the wrong
things. In addition, The whole group of women were thrown, dragged and hurled out of the
office (Document 7). Enforcement officers mistreated women fighting for suffrage since
they did not believe women deserve the same equality as men. Men believed women should be at

home and serving the family, instead of leading strikes and creating controversy. The officers did
not consider for any women who were on their hunger strike to prove their worth, instead they
were force-fed, All the officers here know we are making this hunger strike that women
fighting for liberty may be considered political prisoners (Document 7). Hunger strike was a
controversial method and political tool educated women used to fight for what they believed in.
Enforcement officers disrespected the women by force-feeding them while fighting for their
rights. Women were underestimated and mistreated for wanting equality and the natural rights
they should possess.
Despite all these challenges, women were able to pull through and made suffrage
inevitable. Through the brilliant leadership and strategies, women finally achieved what they
have longed for. The suffrage movement is one of the greatest and most powerful changing
points in American history. The right to vote has given women a voice in society, thus making it
possible for them to contribute and help improve the lives of Americans.