A Time Line of Women’s Suffrage

Canadian government declares women "persons"

A Time Line of Women’s Suffrage

Suffragette Irene Casey sentenced to 15 months
New York Times — July 28, 1914

Women’s suffrage is back in the news thanks the 2015 release of the film Suffragette. The movie follows a young woman in 1912 London caught up in the suffrage movement. Most of the characters are fictional, but Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison were real individuals.

A suffragist was someone who believed in women’s right to vote, while a suffragette protested using violent methods.

Let’s take a look at the timeline of women’s suffrage in the English speaking world.

1700s

1792: Mary Wollstonecraft writes A Vindication of the Rights of Women. In the book, she says it is the lack of education, not nature, that makes women inferior.

1800s

Pamphlet from the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage
“Because it is unwise to risk the good we already have for the evil which may occur”

1848: A Women’s Rights Convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York.  Women in Quebec are disenfranchised when the law is changed to ensure only men can vote.

1850: Ontario grants women the right to vote in school trustee elections.

1872: 16 women are arrested in the U.S. for trying to vote in the presidential election. The National Society of Women’s Suffrage is formed in the UK.

1874: The Women’s Christian Temperance Movement, a proponent of suffrage, is founded.

1887: The U.S. Senate votes against women’s suffrage.

A poster contrasting the type of men who can vote against the women who can't
A poster contrasting the type of men who can vote against the women who can’t

1890: National American Woman Suffrage Movement forms in the U.S.

1893: Women in New Zealand are given universal suffrage; one is elected to office that year. Colorado is the first U.S. state to give women the right to vote in state elections.

1900s

1900: In most of Canada, women have won the right to vote in municipal elections.

Six suffragists hold a banner quoting Susan B. Anthony
“No self respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a party that ignores her sex”

1903: Australia grants women the right to vote.

1910: National Conference of Women endorses suffrage in Canada.

1916: Manitoba becomes the first province to grant women the right to vote in provincial elections.

1917: The Wartime Election Act grants the wives, mothers and sisters, age 21 and older, of Canada servicemen, as well as women serving in the medical corps, the right to vote in federal elections.

1918: All Canadian women older than 21 granted federal suffrage. Women age 30 and older given the same right in the UK.

1920: 19th amendment gives U.S. women 21 and older the right to vote in federal elections.

1928: All women over 21 enfranchised in the UK.

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Updated:  19 October 2020
Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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