The 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession through Washington, DC completely changed the way protests were viewed and carried out by the American public. Thousands of women took to the streets to fight for their right to vote. Their parade from the US Capitol to the Treasury Building set the precedent for future protest marches.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) first in 1869. The pair believed that instead of supporting the 15th Amendment as it was, women’s rights activists should fight for women to be included as well. The NWSA wanted a constitutional amendment to secure the vote for women, but it also supported a variety of reforms that aimed to make women equal members of society.
For decades, suffragists worked hard to earn that right. Constitutional Amendments for woman suffrage were proposed to Congress in 1869, and every year between 1878 and 1920. In the 1890s, NAWSA developed a “state-by-state” strategy, earning women in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado the vote by 1896. Little progress was made between 1896 and 1913, until the march on Washington galvanized the Woman Suffrage Movement and helped lead to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
The 19th Amendment 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 sex.” Congress passed the amendment in June 1919. The NAWSA and NWP suffragists lobbied local and state representatives to ensure its subsequent ratification by the states.
NWHM Director of Program: Elizabeth L. Maurer
Supporting Text: Allison K. Lange, PhD
Edited and Updated: Cara Bennet, NWHM Intern