In 1995, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary. The Nineteenth Amendment, passed in 1920, gave women the right to vote. The struggle for suffrage in America took many years. It began in the 1800's with leaders such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Martha Thomas, Carrie Chapman Clark, and Stanton's daughter, Harriot E. Blatch, carried it into the 1900's. The struggle officially started in 1848, at the Seneca Falls Convention in New York. The struggled began brewing way before that in 1783, when the America gained independence from Britain. The Declaration of Independence says, "all men are created equal," there is no mention of women. It also says that all people have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." This is exactly what the women of the 1800's wanted, and the right to vote. This essay's topic is "What Price Freedom," and my essay will deal with the struggle and the price paid by women for equal rights and the right to vote during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The view of the nineteenth century society was for women to stay at home, clean, raise children, and help with the family farm. America had its freedom, but the women of America didn't. Male domination kept women at home. In the 1800's men were in power, in their homes, workplace and everywhere else. This was the philosophy of the day, and it also included a philosophy about women. First, women were possessions of their husbands, and therefore must agree with everything they say. Second, it was believed that women were stupid, therefore incapable of voting. Also women were not allowed as much education as men were. The colleges only accepted men. Since women could not receive as much schooling as men could, their say was unimportant. Finally, it was believed that men were superior to women, mentally and physically.