For many years, women were not allowed to take part in elections in the United States. The disenfranchising of women from voting took root over many centuries. This practice was common even beyond the United States, with many countries recording of history of times when women were banned from participating in democratic elections. The history of women suffrage in the United States is replete with many small and incremental changes that final culminated in the current voting status for women. Many women directly took part in fighting for women’s right to vote, while other formed organizations that helped to advance this cause. Some of the notable organizations include National American Woman Suffrage Association; later known as the League of Women Voters, and National Women’s Party. These two organizations, under the leadership of strong women, employed different strategies to achieve the common target of attaining women suffrage.
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The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) employed different unique strategies in its fight to earn women the right to vote. The organization set out to ensure that many states in the country ratified women suffrage amendments. This strategy was inspired by the fact that if enough states in the country ratified these kinds of amendments, the Congress would be left with no other choice but to pass a federal government suffrage amendment. The organization also employed the tactic of recruiting many members to participate in public rallies and in agitation for women rights in general. As the leader of NAWSA, Carrie Clinton Lane Chapman Catt employed extensive means to propel the organization’s agenda. She used elaborate public speeches to highlight the plight of women, as well as to champion for women to join the mainstream political landscape (Bystrom & Burrell, 2018). She also founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA) as she recognized the issue of the right of women to vote was a global phenomenon. This approach helped to galvanize her organization even more. Her “Winning Plan” between 1915 and 1920 contributed to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.
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The National Women’s Party (NWP) was founded in 1916 with the purpose of fighting for women’s right to vote. The organization is also known for having fought for equal rights for everyone in society. The organization used a number of strategies to advance their mission. One of these strategies was the use of the “silent sentinels” outside the White House. The Silent Sentinels were vigils organized outside the White House by the members of the group to constantly agitate for women suffrage. The vigils started after President Wilson had declined to publicly support suffrage in a meeting that he had with NWP. The protests employed silence as a means of agitation. Alice Paul served as the leader of the group, and, as such, was the brain behind most of the strategies employed by the group (Bystrom & Burrell, 2018). She came up with the idea of silent protests while using banners with clear messages to the president.
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In conclusion, women suffrage in the United States was attained through the use of various tactics. Women organizations such the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Women’s Party played significant roles. The former used the strategy of ensuring that most states ratified amendments on women suffrage, while the latter used silent protests to advance the same cause. Led by strong women like Alice Paul and Carrie Clinton Lane Chapman Catt, the two organizations’ mission of achieving women suffrage was realized in 1920.
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