Votes for Women

Votes for Women

Building a Foundation: An Introduction to Women and the Vote

Historians have often marked the beginning of the Movement with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 and the end with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.  But, recently, this has been re-examined, shifting the “beginning” date back and the “end” date forward to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Nineteenth Amendment 

Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.  Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.(Source)

Suffragists, Suffragents, and the Antis

Those who were in favor of Women’s Suffrage became known as suffragists, or “Suffs,” and those who opposed women’s suffrage were referred to as “Antis.” Men who supported the women’s suffrage movement were called “Suffragents.” (See the book The Suffragents by Brooke Kroeger for more on the suffragents.)

The yellow rose became associated with the movement. And, at marches, parades, and rallies those supporting women’s suffrage often wore a yellow rose on their lapel or blouse. Those who opposed women’s suffrage often wore a red rose. During the ratification period, the press sometimes referred to the time as a “War of the Roses.”

The Colors And Symbols Of The Women’s Suffrage Movement In The United States

Yellow, white, and purple were the colors adopted by the women’s suffrage movement in the United States.  “The gold color represents light and life. It is "the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving," reads The Suffragist regarding the gold color. The book was published in 1913. The color purple was chosen for loyalty and steadfastness. The white was selected as an emblem of purity.”  (Source)

In her book, The Woman’s Hour, Elaine Weiss notes: “Yellow or gold had long been the American suffrage campaign’s symbolic hue, signifying the flame of freedom’s fires; the Woman’s Party adopted a version of the British suffragists’ tricolor of green, white, and violet/purple (a chromatic acronym for ‘give women the vote’)” (198)

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