Topics in History: Women’s Suffrage


On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was finally ratified, giving women the right to vote. On Election Day of that year, millions of American women voted for the first time. It took women nearly 100 years to win this right. Women’s suffrage gained momentum in the 1840s and was born out of the broader women’s rights movement and the abolitionist movement. There was strong opposition to women’s suffrage based largely on conservative beliefs and fear over what women would support or not support with their votes.
In 1890 the two rival suffrage associations, the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association, joined forces and formed the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The national associations often campaigned with and supported state movements. After two previous tries, Colorado secured voting rights for women by state referendum in 1893. While other western territories, such as Wyoming and Utah, had previously given women the right to vote, Colorado was the first state to enact women’s suffrage by popular referendum.

Historic Newspapers Articles about Women’s Suffrage

Colorado Women’s Suffrage

Women’s Suffrage Abroad

This topic in history and the related online primary sources are brought to you by the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, a free online resource of primary sources.  For this and other topics, please visit the Colorado Historic Newspapers Topics page. For questions about CHNC, contact Leigh Jeremias, ljeremias@colordovirtuallibrary.org

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