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Woman Suffrage By Federal Constitutional Amendment   By: (1859-1947)

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First Page:

NATIONAL SUFFRAGE LIBRARY

WOMAN SUFFRAGE BY FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

COMPILED BY CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT

PUBLISHED BY NATIONAL WOMAN SUFFRAGE PUBLISHING CO., INC. 171 MADISON AVENUE NEW YORK

1917

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO

THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE LEGISLATURES OF THE SEVERAL STATES. IT GOES WITH THE HOPE THAT IT MAY LEAD TO A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE REASONS FOR A FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROVIDING THAT NO STATE SHALL DENY THE RIGHT TO VOTE ON ACCOUNT OF SEX.

INTRODUCTION

No effort is made in the following pages to present an argument for woman suffrage. No careful observer of the modern trend of human affairs, doubts that "governments of the people" are destined to replace the monarchies of the world. No listener will fail to hear the rumble of the rising tide of democracy. No watcher of events will deny that the women of all civilized lands will be enfranchised eventually as part of the people entitled to give consent and no American possessed of political foresight doubts woman suffrage in our land as a coming fact.

The discussion herein is strictly confined to the reasons why an amendment to the Federal Constitution is the most appropriate method of dealing with the question. This proposed amendment was introduced into Congress in 1878 at the request of the National Woman Suffrage Association. Since 1882 the Senate Committee has reported it with a favorable majority every year except in 1890 and 1896. Twice only has it gone to vote in the Senate. The first time was on January 25, 1887; the second, March 19, 1914. In the House it has been reported from Committee seven times, twice by a favorable majority, three times by an adverse majority and twice without recommendation. The House has allowed the measure to come to vote but once, in 1915. Yet while women of the nation in large and increasing numbers have stood at doors of Congress waiting and hoping, praying and appealing for the democratic right to have their opinions counted in affairs of their government, millions of men have entered through our gates and automatically have passed into voting citizenship without cost of money, time or service, aye, without knowing what it meant or asking for the privilege. Among the enfranchised there are vast groups of totally illiterate, and others of gross ignorance, groups of men of all nations of Europe, uneducated Indians and Negroes. Among the unenfranchised are the owners of millions of dollars worth of property, college presidents and college graduates, thousands of teachers in universities, colleges and public schools, physicians, lawyers, dentists, journalists, heads of businesses, representatives of every trade and occupation and thousands of the nation's homekeepers. The former group secured its vote without the asking; the latter appeals in vain to Congress for the removal of the stigma this inexplicable contrast puts upon their sex. It is hoped this little book may gain attention where other means have failed.

C.C.C.

January, 1917.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE CHAPTER I. 1

WHY THE FEDERAL AMENDMENT?

By CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT

There are seven reasons for Federal enfranchisement of women. Other countries have so enfranchised women. Conditions of men's enfranchisement in U.S. were easy. Many State constitutions today practically impossible to amend. Election laws do not protect State amendment elections from fraud. Men's right to vote protected by Federal Constitution; state by state enfranchisement would not give this protection to women. Woman Suffrage a national question. Decision on technical and abstract question of Suffrage demands different class of intelligence from election of candidates.

CHAPTER II 12

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL OBSTRUCTIONS

By MARY SUMNER BOYD

State Suffrage amendments defeated in recent years by technical difficulties... Continue reading book >>




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