The book Founding Sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment by Eleanor Clift was published in the year 2003 by Wiley publishers. The book consists of a total number of eight subjects which are divided into eight chapters. The subjects are a collection of extra ordinary new series that look into the various odd instants in history. The author of the book is a woman who fights for rights of women in to have a voice in the politics arena of the United States. Eleanor Cliff highlights some of the major women who significantly fought for the liberty of women especially in the field of politics. Various women fight for the cause of women rights. These women fought for the voting rights of women leading to the Nineteenth Amendment which allowed women to vote in the presidential election in 1920. It allowed every United States citizen to vote irrespective of the sex count. In a world where women continuously fight to have equal rights and opportunities in life just like their male counterparts; this book stands out as the best choice highlighting the efforts made by the founding sisters to salvage women, and most importantly give the right to vote in a presidential election. The Amendment allowed women to vote in the presidential election while they had been previously barred by the constitution to do so. Throughout the book Eleanor Clift explores the cause of women rights and the founding sisters who initiated number of historical struggles that ensured that women gained the right to vote in the year 1920.
The founding sisters of the women rights started the campaign back in the year 1848 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized a Women’s Rights Convention in New York at the Seneca Falls. The convention that brought women delegates who advocated for the cause of women rights. What Follows is a series of historical events highlighting women fighting for their rights, and eventually the popular Nineteenth Amendment. In the second chapter of the book Eleanor Clift highlight a former a slave Sojourner telling the truth about the women rights beginning 1851. It indicates how the previous suffragists were the figures of abolishment of the women. The civil war is highlights how the civil war in the United States surpass the cause of women rights. On the year 1918 the House of the representatives votes for the suffrage amendment in an effort to fight for the women rights. The final fight for the cause of women rights is the task to convince at least thirty six states to back up the effort to have the nineteenth amendment to constitutionally allow women to vote in a presidential election.
According to Clift; “by the summer of 1920, after a great deal of maneuvering by Carrie Chapman Catt and NAWSA, thirty-five state legislatures have ratified suffrage an only one more is needed. The two most promising, Vermont and Connecticut, are in the grip of conservative Republicans and their governors refuse to call special sessions, so suffragists and their opponents converge on Tennessee for a steamy summer battle. A key vote comes from legislator Harry Burn, who changes his stance and explains, “I know that a mother’s advice is always safest for her boycott follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification” (145). The founding sisters as well as the nineteenth amendment easily allows the dramatic events that take place resulting into the most significant developments for the liberty of women leading into the constitutional grant of women rights to vote in a presidential election. The very first NSA convention takes place in Washington in the year 1870. This facilitates the cause women rights. Women are rallied and make popular the suffrage. Later on the women experience a division between ranks showing the division of radicals and moderates. Carrie Chapman Catt represents the moderates while Alice Paul leads to the radicals. What follows is a martyr Inez Milholland Boissevain who acts for the cause of women rights. She collapses at the moment of whirlwind after uttering the line questioning “how longer will the women hold on till they have liberty” (Clift 233). Afterwards she passes on hence she becomes a martyr while fighting for the cause of women rights.
The founding sisters as well as the nineteenth amendment give the light to a number of stories that have been left behind with time, but are significant to the cause for rights of women during their time. The opponents of women rights were not only men, but also women who were threatened by the fact of losing protection in case they supported the cause for women rights specifically the right for women to vote in a presidential election. The weak beautiful Milholland Boissevain passed on while advocating publicly for suffrage, after which she became a martyr for the suffrage movement. Her demise caused protests that astonished President Wilson. This resulted into the president commanding arrest of a number of protesters of the suffrage movement who later underwent miserable conditions under detainment, a move that got the whole nation by surprise. However, the race factor facilitated the division of the suffrage movement along ethnic lines. The founding sisters as well as the Nineteenth Amendment serves as a reminder for the women to avoid regarding their rights for granted. This because the two played an important role in backing up the cause for women rights and eventually the Nineteenth Amendment allowing women to vote in a presidential election.
Clift, E. (2003). Founding sisters and the Nineteenth Amendment. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.