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Women's Suffrage Essay by Ingrid Braden

This girl is on fire! Fifth grader Ingrid Braden has been on a winning streak. In addition to winning the school spelling bee, she added school geography bee winner to her list of accolades. As if that weren't enough, her essay "The Women's Suffrage Campaign" for the Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest was selected as the city-wide winner! Ingrid will be recognized at an award ceremony at Bethel Church on February 17. Below is the text from her award-winning essay. Congratulations, Ingrid!

How would you feel if you were thought of as miniscule, lower than others, deserving to be treated poorly and have no rights, just because you are a woman? Unfortunately, this world did exist, and it existed in our country, the United States, in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. The rights of women were, then, unconsidered throughout the years, and, finally, women put a stop to that.

Today is June 4, 1919. The day that women may get the vote. Across the nation, women will be cheering and clapping for the rights declared to them, in cities and towns everywhere, that no matter your gender, you deserve the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But if this dream does happen, we owe it all to history. First, Abigail Adams, in 1776, sent a letter to her husband, one of the writers of the Declaration of Independence, John, she urges him to “remember the ladies”, but to no avail. However, this kickstarted the revolution for the campaign for women’s rights.Seventy-two years later, the Seneca Falls convention, held by abolitionists like Lucretia Mott,  Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony, took place on July 19th and 20th of that year. Numerous women and men showed up to the convention, but many people still thought that women did not deserve rights of their own. Many times that women tried to gain the rights that they indeed are worthy of, yet the men in powerful positions disapproved. In 1890, the NWSA and the AWSA decided to merge into NAWSA (National American Woman Suffrage Association).

After that, three western states gave women the the right to vote. At the turn of the century, in 1900, with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton growing older, a lady named Carrie Chapman Catt became the head of this organization, after Stanton and Anthony. Under Catt, the group achieved many successes during that time. From 1910 to 1918, 16 states and one territory gave women the rights to vote. In 1918, Woodrow Wilson changed his stance on suffrage, giving talks in support of it through leadership of Carrie Chapman Catt. In October of that year, when the 19th amendment was first voted on, Wilson explained “I regard the extension of suffrage to women is vitally essential to the successful prosecution of the great war of humanity in which we are engaged.” Even though Wilson had massive support for the cause, the proposal did not get past the Senate by just two votes. It would take another year before the Congress would take up the measure for women’s suffrage again. Finally, on May 21, 1919, a representative from Illinois proposed to the house the Susan Anthony Amendment (the 19th amendment). It passed the House 304-89; which was forty-two votes over the two-thirds majority that it needed. Then, on June 4, 1919, the Senate passed the Susan Anthony Amendment with two votes past the obligated majority it needed. After that, the amendment was sent to the states to decide on. Then, after six days in the ratification cycle, three states had already ratified the amendment. Three states followed after that.

Every morning when I wake up, I think of the amazing women who spoke up for their rights. I am praying every day for this amendment to be passed. I am grateful for our Constitution, our leaders and fighters, and for America’s women.


Works Cited

“Women's Right to Vote - Decades TV Network.” YouTube, YouTube, 18 Aug. 2016,

readingthroughhistor. “History Brief: the 19th Amendment.” YouTube, YouTube, 14 Nov. 2014,!articleTab:content/

Teacher led lesson on background of Women’s Suffrage. Week of 9/24/18.