During the early development of the United States of America women did not have the right to vote or run for a political office. They were excluded from such matters and were often thought not to have an opinion in this arena. Many brave women had to fight to be heard before women were given the right to vote in America.
After the Revolutionary War women in the state of New Jersey were granted the right to vote as long as they met the requirements of that state. No other states allowed women to vote. Then in 1807 that right was revoked and women could no longer vote in New Jersey. This began the struggle to obtain equal voting rights for all women. In July 1848 two women suffrage activists, Elizabeth Cardy Stanton and Lucretia Mott, began the struggle to secure the right to vote for all the women of America. Later Elizabeth Cardy Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed the first Women’s Rights Association. They fought together for many years giving speeches across the country to raise awareness about the issue. They also worked hard to persuade the government that society should treat men and women equally. Both women openly opposed the addition of the 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution that protected the voting rights of African American males. They argued that giving added legal protection and voting rights to African American men while women, black and white, were denied those same rights was unfair.
In the late 1800’s women in the states of Utah and Wyoming were given the right to vote. This right was later revoked in Utah. Due to the efforts of women suffrage associations at the state level the women in the states of Idaho, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming were all granted the right to vote by the end of the nineteenth century. The beginning of the twentieth century saw a rise in popularity for the women’s suffrage movement and many activists were arrested and jailed. Finally an amendment was made to the constitution and in 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment was added which prohibited any state and federal agency from gender-based restrictions on voting.