Breaking News! Women Get the Right to Vote!
It happened 100 years ago today, but it took them 100 years to win that right.
August 31, 2020
As I write this, women across America celebrate the fact that 100 years ago today August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified. This milestone addition to the Constitution gave American women the right to vote. More than 8 million women voted for the first time the following November.
Before I go on, I should define suffrage, a word that you will see many times in this article. The word comes from Latin suffragium, which meant "a voting-tablet," "a ballot," "a vote," or "the right to vote." Today the meaning is limited to the right to vote.
It had taken women's suffrage advocates 100 years of protests, lobbying, arm-twisting, and threats of dire consequences for their husbands if they did not support women getting the right to vote. I imagine the last might have been the most effective strategy; what man wants to sleep on the couch for the rest of his life?
As I reflect on this, I see a terrible irony. Black women, who fought ferociously alongside their white sisters for the right to vote - were still not allowed to vote. They had helped to win the battle, but they could not share in the fruits of their victory.
Black men had achieved the right to vote 50 years earlier. But our society was so paternalistic in those days that the men who controlled suffrage, many of whom thought that no black person should vote, still thought it preferable to allow black men to vote rather than to allow any woman the same privilege.
After the Civil War, two Constitutional Amendments made it possible for black men to vote. The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, extended the Constitution's protection to all citizens, defined in Section 1 as All persons born or naturalized in the United States. But in Section 2, which pertains to the right to vote, that right was restricted to male inhabitants being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States.
The 14th Amendment did not explicitly exclude black men from voting; but neither did it include them. It took the 15th, ratified in 1870, to guarantee black men the right to vote. Section 1 states, 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 race, color, or previous condition of servitude. With this, a significant portion of the country including former slaves gained the rights of all other men.
As a result, millions of black men became voters during the 1870s. Most of these new black voters cast their ballots solidly for the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Emancipation Proclamation. As one important result, Republicans elected Hiram Rhodes Revel, a black preacher, to be the first black man to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. Later, they sent him to the Senate. Again he was the first black man ever elected to that august body.
All of this leads one to wonder why many Americans believe the lie that Democrats are the champions of black people. That has never been true. Even though today most blacks vote Democrat, at every important point in American history, it has been the Republicans who have supported equal rights for black citizens.
Unfortunately, women and, as we will see, many other groups were still on the outside looking in. Not only were they forbidden to vote; they were not even considered citizens of America, even if they were born here. Women, many of whom had been fighting for universal suffrage for almost fifty years by this time, were outraged. They dug in and began to fight in earnest.
Voting reform did not begin with blacks or women, though. In the early days of our nation, millions of white men were not allowed to vote. Each state did things differently, but in general they all acted to limit the right to vote to gentlemen. This was defined in many ways, but in general if a man was not a landowner or was not educated, he could not vote. Poll taxes also excluded poor men who could not afford them. Of course, all of these tactics of exclusion were unconstitutional.
The Bible says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9). We were born this way. We inherited our sin nature from Adam and Eve, the first sinners. Only by accepting salvation from Jesus Christ can we emerge from this wicked state with a transformed heart.
The wealthy men who blocked so many from their God-given right to participate in the government that controlled them, exhibited this wickedness. While many of them may have been good and generous in other ways, this desire to have power over others was part of their sin nature. They were raised to think this way, and probably did not believe that they were hurting anyone.
For instance, men often felt that women were delicate creatures who should not have to fret over such things as politics and voting. This was not true of all men; the wives of many of them probably knocked some sense into their heads.
But blacks didn't have the ability to change the thinking of the men who controlled the nation. In many cases, these men treated their black slaves or servants very well so much so that some slaves, when they were freed, asked to stay with their former masters. Unfortunately, the majority of the men in control saw black people as children who needed guidance. They believed blacks did not have the ability to make serious decisions such as who would have the rule over them.
The battle for women's suffrage began slowly in the 1820s and over time gained momentum. In 1848 the first national Women's Rights Convention was held at Seneca Falls, New York. 300 people, mostly women, attended. But some men, including Republican former slave Frederick Douglass, attended.
Just as some men joined in the battle for women's suffrage, both men and surprisingly women organized to fight against women voting. The supporters of women's rights were churches and religious organizations, abolitionists, temperance groups, and the Republican Party. The suffragists fought to pass the 19th Amendment in time to vote against Democrat Woodrow Wilson for his opposition to their cause. (Later, in the manner of a true politician, he congratulated them for passing the Amendment.)
The main opposition came from Democrats and an organization with strong ties to prominent Democrats named the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NAOWS). Its president, Josephine Jewell Dodge, came from a wealthy and influential New England family. At that time, most Northeast states were opposed to women's suffrage. Another leader of the anti-suffrage was Alice Wadsworth, who linked feminism and socialism to women's suffrage in an effort to discourage women from seeking the vote.
Democrat politicians were especially dramatic and even hysterical in their denunciation of the suffragists. There will be no more domestic tranquility in this nation if woman suffrage comes, said Democrat Alabama Congressman J. Thomas Heflin in 1913. Pandemonium will reign. To the women fighting for the right to vote in the 1910s, such arguments were not surprising. Men made all sorts of wild claims about the catastrophe that would follow an amendment granting women the right to vote.
Although under state territorial laws women were generally allowed to vote in the West, the Eastern states strongly opposed such laws. The leaders of the movement, including Susan B. Anthony realized that they needed to concentrate on a federal solution. So they began to lobby for a Constitutional amendment.
By the time the U.S. federal government started the process to allow women to vote, 15 Western states and territories had already changed their constitutions to allow women's suffrage. Most major nations had done the same. Women in New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the Netherlands all enjoyed this most basic of civil rights.
The fight started in the Congress, which the Democrats controlled. The Amendment was introduced by Republican Aaron A. Sargent. Four times the Democrats were able to defeat it. Finally, on the fifth attempt, it passed by a narrow margin, with Democrats still in strong opposition.
Now the fight moved to the states. Thirty-six of them had to ratify it. When it finally arrived at Tennessee, the make-or-break state for the Amendment, seven states, all of them Democrat-controlled, had rejected it. And in Tennessee, the fate of the 19th Amendment ultimately came down to one man's vote.
Universal suffrage was a different matter. It was a long and twisting road. The fight for everyone to have the right to vote had its root in the abolitionist movement. The abolitionists who fought to abolish slavery men and women of all colors knew that slavery was evil. They also knew that denying any citizen the right to vote was nothing but another form of slavery.
The temperance movement also played a role in women's suffrage. Mostly women, they fought to make drinking alcohol illegal. They knew the evils of drinking. They saw the homes that were ruined by it, and the crimes that were committed as a result of it. And they realized that if women - who suffered the most at the hands of violent drunks got suffrage, they could use their votes to further the cause of temperance.
For women, suffrage was far from the only issue, but gaining it would help with the other types of oppression of the time. American women were denied many other basic rights. A married woman had no right to her own wages; and she had no rights regarding the custody of her own children; and worst, she could not own property or sign a contract. Under the law, they fared not much better than slaves.
After black men were allowed to vote, another 50 years went by before white women could vote. But there was still much to be done if America was to be the land of the free for all its citizens. Even though the 15th and 19th Amendments were important victories, many were still denied one of the most basic human rights. Black women, American Indians, and Asians still had a long fight ahead to win the right to vote. We will explore this in a future article.
I will leave you with this. As I researched this article I confirmed much that I had already known. But I also discovered important information concerning which party has unwaveringly supported civil rights for all, and which has unabashedly tried to crush these rights, while lying about its actions.
If you listen to Democrat rhetoric about being the party of diversity and equal rights, and the constant drumbeat of lies along these lines from the Liberal media, you would surely believe that Democrats are to a person saints who go about doing good as Jesus did.
But if you pay attention to facts many of which have been laid out in this article, and all of which can be verified with a little research, you will understand that the Democrats, rather than serving their constituencies, have used and abused them. Use your eyes. The party of diversity had a huge slate of people running for the presidential nomination, including young and old, women, and several different minorities. They even had a token homosexual.
But who came out at the top? Two elderly white guys. Bernie Sanders was so consumed with hatred of just about everyone that it amazes me that he received any votes. Joe Biden, who was running for president for something like the twentieth time, who has spent his entire life in the Swamp, and is so confused that he doesn't know which office he's running for, got the nomination.
He did choose a double-minority as his running mate, though? Or did he? Kamala Harris called Joe Biden a racist, a sexual pervert, and a corrupt politician very publically in the debates. Biden, confused as he is, remembers this and hates her. But now they gaze lovingly at one another in the most ridiculous political publicity shot I have ever seen. And Harris now claims that Joe is the only person alive who can save America from the China Virus.
Believe me, Joe may be crazy, but he would never have chosen Harris. He was told to do so by the people behind the curtain who pull his strings (and control the purse strings). These people, the same ones who controlled Obama, want to tear America down to the place where the people will be willing to accept any savior even though that person will shred American sovereignty and force us into a one-world government.
That is why the Democrats, for over a hundred years, have opposed every measure that would give rights to anyone blacks, women, Native Americans, and Asians with regard to the vote; the poor who they keep in poverty with their welfare programs; and anyone who opposes their huge corporate donors. The three richest men in the world who control America through their massive monopolies (Amazon, Google, and Facebook) are all Liberals.
The Republicans are not saints. I found evidence that some of that party's efforts to ensure equal rights and suffrage for women, blacks, and others were to get more votes for their party. Politics is politics, whichever the party. But there are four reasons why the Republican Party is better for America
Facts supersede rhetoric. No matter what they say, look at what the Democrats do. Their voting record on critical issues of morality, the national defense, the economy, and voting rights damn them far more effectively than any words I could write.
The Democrat Party platform is so horrific that most Democrats would condemn it if they ever bothered to read it. They enshrine the right to murder the unborn. They elevate the rights of every perversion that exists, while repressing anyone who honors God. They support initiatives that weaken our nation while praising international government. They are not Patriots. Read their platform for yourself.
Not every Republican truly supports their party's platform. Some are Republicans only because their state or Congressional District is loathe to vote for a Democrat. But the platform is supported by most, and it is the antithesis of that of the Democrats. Republicans are Patriots who truly love our country; they are protectors of the weak, the elderly, and the unborn citizens; and they still believe that America is exceptional and good.
Both Republican and Democrat voters are basically good people who are easily led. But most of the Democrat leaders are truly evil people, corrupt and self-serving. Some Republicans are corrupt. It's hard to stay moral in a slimy place like Washington, DC. But most are good people who are actually public servants.
Democrats blame America first for everything. The Republicans want to keep America first - so that we can continue to be a force for good in this world.
Please read both parties' platforms before the elections. If you do, you will never vote Democrat again.
In 1920 Republicans Defeated the Democrats War on Women
Democrats voted for racist policies for more than 100 years
The Democrats' Bad Faith Exploitation of Racial Politics
Five Facts About Black Democrats
Why So Many Black Voters Are Democrats, Even When They Aren't Liberal
What African Americans lost by aligning with the Democratic Party
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