100 Years of Women’s Suffrage: A Historical Look

100 years ago, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, bringing about women’s suffrage.

19th Amendment

“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.”

A Historical Look at Women’s Suffrage

Jeanne Schultz Angel, the Director of Learning Experiences and Historical Research at Naper Settlement and Becky Simon, the President of the League of Women Voters of Naperville give a quick look at the suffrage movement.

“I always call it a long and winding road through time,” says Angel, “because there were a lot of dips, turns, and right angles to it.”

The movement also made its way to Naperville. The League of Women Voters discovered that the first suffragist club in the community was founded in 1888.

“Then in 1910,” continues Simon, “an automobile tour came through town, women hopped out of their car, probably pulled out a megaphone, and made speeches in support of women’s suffrage.”

The last record of women’s suffrage in Naperville was a club at North Central College in 1914, then called Northwestern College, and the club entered a float in the boosters parade.

“It was not well received by everyone,” says Simon.

Fractures in the Movement

Women’s suffrage in the United States splintered over race.

“The movement itself was fractured right after the Civil War,” says Angel, “by the 15th Amendment that guaranteed voting rights for men of color. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony split the movement over the 15th Amendment because they didn’t support one group getting voting rights before white women.”

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