Women’s suffrage in the United States, the legal right for women to vote, was established over the course of several decades, first by states’ rights, and then federally in 1920.
In 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention, passed a resolution in favor of universal suffrage.
In 1872, Susan B. Anthony illegally voted and her arrest revitalized the Suffrage movement. In 1890, with Susan B. Anthony at the head of the organization, the National American Woman Suffrage Association was formed (NAWSA).
Carrie Chapman Catt the lead NAWSA final push, with two million members, to make universal suffrage a reality. The Nineteenth Amendment became a part of the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. It states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom succeeded through two laws passed in 1918 and 1928.
The movement started in the Victorian era. In 1872, the National Society for Women’s Suffrage was formed which later turned into the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).
In 1913, Parliament passed the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act, commonly referred to as the Cat and Mouse Act. This allowed for the release of those whose hunger strikes, while imprisoned for the sometimes violent tactics of the Women’s Social and Political Union, until they were fed and healthy so the striking women would not become martyrs.
The outbreak of World War I resulted in a pause of all political movement. In 1918, a coalition in Parliament passed the Representation of the People Act, granting all men, as well as women over the age of 30 who met the minimum property qualifications the right to vote. In 1928, the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act was passed, which gave women over the age of 21 the right to vote on equal terms with men.