Women Suffrage Essay Conclusion Example

Women's Suffrage Essay

The fight for women's suffrage, or voting, went on for about seventy years. The fight first officially started in 1848 with the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. This was the start of a long, complicated battle.

The woman's rights issue was actually first motivated by another cause, anti-slavery. There were meetings that women weren't allowed to vote in. At the World's Anti-slavery Convention, women weren't allowed in. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, later suffrage leaders, were two of the women who were excluded admittance.

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It was 1848, and Stanton and Mott were starting their journey on the road to suffrage with the first women's rights convention. The women at the convention made up a list of complaints to show that for years men have been dominant over women. This became the first public protest for women's rights in America, "The Declaration of Sentiments."

Many people opposed to the idea of women's rights. Men, of course, being the majority of it. They thought that women weren't as smart. They thought they could represent women better than women themselves. There were also women who thought that women in politics would be the end of family life.

In May 1869, two women's suffrage organizations formed. The first was the National omen's Suffrage Organization formed by Stanton and Anthony. This group was the more radical of the two, their goal being to have an amendment ratified for women's suffrage. The other was the American Women's Suffrage Organization, the conservative one. Their goal was to get individual states to grant women the right to vote. Later, in 1890, the two joined together to make the National American Women's Suffrage Organization.

For over fifty years, these women were determined to win voting rights. So determined in fact, that in 1872, Susan B. Anthony and 50 other women went to register to vote in the presidential election. They were refused at first, but demanded to be able to register. Fifteen women along with the inspectors who allowed them to register were arrested and tried with a $500 bail.

The unwavering determination of these women was starting to wear down the all-male government. First came Wyoming in 1869. The next was Utah in 1870 and then Colorado in 1893. The boundaries of women were expanding. By 1919, 37 states gave women full or partial suffrage. In 1918, the suffrage amendment, which was proposed in 1878 but left unchanged, was defeated and then a year later. But in 1920, the women's suffrage amendment was finally ratified.

After a very long battle, the women's struggle paid off. Their long-awaited goal was granted. This was official with the nineteenth amendment. After suffrage was granted, women continued working on women's rights.


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  • History of Women's Suffrage: A Women's Suffrage Activity
  • Women's Suffrage Fact Sheet printable
  • Women's Suffrage Activity


  1. Depending on the grade level and maturity level of each class, activities can be facilitated as independent work, collaborative group work, or whole class instruction.
  2. If a computer is available for each student, guide students to the activities.
  3. If you are working in a lab, set up the computers to be on the desired website as students walk into class. If there are fewer computers than students, group the students by reading level. Assign each student a role: a "driver" who navigates the web, a timer who keeps the group on task, and a note taker. If there are more than three students per computer, you can add roles like a team leader, a team reporter, etc. If your classroom is set up in collaborative groups, try learning stations. Have rotating groups working on the computer (s), reading printed background information, holding smaller group discussions, writing first drafts to a given writing prompt, etc.
  4. Print a copy of the "Women's Suffrage" and "19th Amendment" articles from the History of Women's Suffrage activity for each student.
  5. Make a copy of the Women's Suffrage Fact Sheet printable for each student.

Day 1

Step 1: As a class, discuss women's suffrage in the United States. Have women always had the right to vote in the United States? What were attitudes toward women in the past — focus on periods of history that students may have recently studied like the American Revolution or Civil War. Write on the board any ideas and facts students bring to the discussion.

Step 2: Hand out copies of the "Women's Suffrage" and "19th Amendment" articles available in the History of Women's Suffrage activity. Students should individually read each article, circling the vocabulary words they find within the articles.

Step 3: Once students have read and understood the articles, send them to the computer stations to take the interactive, Show What You Know quiz. Students should print their final page and turn it in for assessment. If computers are not available, you can print the quiz beforehand and have students return the printout for assessment.

Day 2

Step 1: Continue the lesson by directing students to read Effie Hobby's story on voting in 1920 in the Women's Suffrage activity. Alert students to the Think About It question on the bottom of each page in Effie Hobby's story. These thought-provoking questions allow students a chance to write responses in their notebooks.

Days 3-4

Step 1: When students have completed the Show What You Know quiz and Effie's story, regroup as a class to discuss what they have read. See Discussion Starters below. Focus students on why some people wanted women to vote while others were against the idea and what world events might have allowed people to change their opinions. Expand the discussion women's rights around the world. Do women have the right to vote in every country?

Step 2: Hand out the Women's Suffrage Fact Sheet printable and direct students to the When Did Women Vote? section of the Women's Suffrage activity. Depending on the availability of computers, you may assign individual students to each computer or group students according to reading level. If time a concern, you can break half the class to explore the U.S. map while the other half explores the world map.

Step 3: With their filled out the Women's Suffrage Fact Sheet printable, have students discuss any patterns they see in the years that different countries and different states adopted women's suffrage. What can we learn about these patterns and the changing attitude toward women's rights over time?

Day 5

Step 1: Explain to students that they are taking a virtual trip in time, back to 1920. The states are about to vote on whether to pass the 19th Amendment. Each student is going to write a persuasive essay to convince an audience either to vote for the 19th Amendment or to vote against it. As a class, make a list of arguments they can make in support of and against the amendment.

Step 2: Direct students to the Writing Workshop: Persuasive Writingproject, where students will be directed through the step-by-step process of writing a persuasive essay. Each persuasive essay should focus on either convincing others that women should have the right to vote or taking the stand that women should not have the right to vote. Students should hand in a copy of their persuasive essay for assessment as well as publish their essay online.

Discussion Starters
  • Why did women ask for the right to vote?
  • What were the arguments for and against allowing women to vote?
  • Which countries were the first to allow women to vote? Why do you think these countries were ahead of others?
  • Which countries do not allow women to vote today? Does this reflect women's rights or do men have the right to vote in these countries?
  • What arguments were made for not giving the women the right to vote before World War I? How was this evidence supported? How did these attitudes change after the war?
  • What tactics did suffragettes use to persuade government officials to change the suffrage laws? Were these tactics always effective?

Use the Persuasive Essay Writing Rubric to assess students' essays.

Scholastic's Women's Suffrage Student Activity helps students meet the following standards:

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA)

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language for learning, persuasion, and exchange of information.
  • Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (libraries, databases, computer networks) to gather and communicate knowledge.
  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • Students conduct research by gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing data from a variety of sources, and then communicate their discoveries to different audiences for a variety of purposes.

National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

  • Time, Continuity, and Change: Students focus on how the world has changed in order to gain perspective on the present and the future.
  • Individuals, Groups, and Institutions: Students study interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.
  • Power, Authority, and Governance: Students study how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance.
  • Civic Ideals and Practices: Students gain an understanding of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic.
  • Individuals, Groups, and Institutions: Students study interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.
  • Power, Authority, and Governance: Students study how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance.
  • Civic Ideals and Practices: Students gain an understanding of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic.

Technology Foundation Standards for Students

  • Use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity
  • Use technology tools to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences
  • Use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
  • Use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources
  • Use technology tools to process data and report results employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world

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