Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Awakening

The Awakening, a cartoon by Henry Mayer about women's suffrage was published in 1915 in Puck Magazine. It shows liberty marching across the nation from the west to the east.,_The_Awakening,_1915_Cornell_CUL_PJM_1176_01_-_Restoration.jpg
The western states (in white) had all granted women the vote, while the rest of the country was "in the dark" waiting for the march of freedom, which finally came in 1919 with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Although New Jersey briefly allowed women the right to vote shortly after the founding of the country, it was the west where the right to vote was first permanently established. Wyoming was the first state to pass a law explicitly giving women the right to vote in 1869. Utah, Idaho and Colorado followed and by 1915 there was a clear geographical pattern.,_1920.svg
The map above shows the state of women's suffrage laws just before adoption of the Amendment. The color scheme is complicated but dark blue is full suffrage and then the colors go through various levels of partial suffrage until red, which is no suffrage. The legend can be seen by clicking the image above.

The 19th Amendment passed the House of Representatives in May, 1919 and the Senate the following month. By August, 1920 enough states had ratified it to add it to the Constitution, however some  southern states did not ratify it for decades afterwards. Mississippi was the last state to ratify it - in 1984.

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