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Virtual Conference

“Fit” to Vote: The Influence of Immigration and Citizenship Rights on the Woman Suffrage Movement


Duration:
1 Hour

Dates
Please Note: Programs with a ☾ insignia begin after 5pm or air on the weekend.

Price


Description

“Fit” to Vote: The Influence of Immigration and Citizenship Rights on the Woman Suffrage Movement 

Part of the National Women’s History Museum’s “Determined to Rise”: Women’s Historical Activism for Equal Rights Centenary Celebration Series

Who is deemed “fit” to vote and what makes an ideal voter? Who was enfranchised by the ratification of the 19th Amendment and who was left out? Although the 19th Amendment prohibits states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens on the basis of sex, the federal Constitution does not actually recognize an inherent right to vote. This intentional omission was designed to prevent “ordinary” citizens from endorsing the rights of others. As a result, questions of citizenship rights, immigration, domestic migration, and the “qualities” deemed acceptable of an “ideal voter” during the 19th century—namely white, male, land-owning citizens—both informed and transformed the national debate around woman suffrage.

 

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