It was 100 years ago today that there was a march around the Nation’s capital with over 5,000 protestors, advocating for Women’s rights. The march helped bring needed political attention to the matter. The Women’s rights movement began in 1878, and took until 1920 to be ratified. The march took place March 3, 1913. It was a tactic that proved to be more successful than their years of petitioning and picketing.  

This march was the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural address, and was strategic for setting the political agenda. It was a climatic time for change and needed influence. The movement was joked and laughed at by men in town waiting for Wilson’s inaugural address, but it made the necessary impact.

In Wisconsin, there was a lengthy struggle for women suffrage groups. When the Wisconsin constitution was written in 1848 there was no women suffrage rights of concern. As activist groups formed by 1870, and some movements were being made it was difficult persuasion as many related suffrage with temperance movements. In Wisconsin this delayed progress in suffrage as much hostility was formed towards temperance as breweries were a large industry for the State.

In 1912 Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th amendment giving women rights. This was a large success story as so much progress had been made since the original constitution was signed only 65 years earlier. Celebrate the State’s rich history and progress today celebrating 100 years since the suffrage march, and nearly 100 years since the 19th amendment was ratified.

19th Amendment to U.S Constitution. (2013). In Our Documents. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=63

Harvey, S. (2001). Marching for the Vote. In American Women. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/awhhtml/aw01e/aw01e.html

The Women's Suffrage Movement. (2013). In Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp-032/

By Dustin Hochmuth,
Museum Intern, UW-Whitewater Communications Major

 


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