Women’s Suffrage 1896–1914

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Map Code: Ax01323

Utah granted female suffrage in 1870, preceded only by Wyoming (1869). Congress promptly disenfranchised Utah’s women (1887) after they had the temerity to vote for Mormon polygamy. Generally, the Mountain Zone states proved most progressive with Colorado (1893) and Idaho (1896) following their neighbours: the rest of the West would soon follow suit (1910–14). While the early proponents of female suffrage were often closely linked to the abolition of slavery, after Emancipation divergences developed. Catherine Catt campaigned for female suffrage in the South by arguing ‘white supremacy will be strengthened’ by its adoption. She also proposed ‘cut off the votes to the slums and give it to a woman’, and disparaged the franchise of the ‘murderous Sioux’. Alice Paul was more enlightened, and overt, emulating the British Suffragettes by picketing the White House with her Silent Sentinels. Female Suffrage would finally reach the east coast in New York (1917), and become universal by the 19th Amendment (1920).

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