Historical Posters Show the Arguments for Women's Suffrage

Image courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe InstituteImage courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Boston.com
August 28, 2013

It is a big week for civil rights milestones. Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (which Ideas wrote about on Sunday), while Monday was the 93rd anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, being incorporated into the Constitution. To celebrate the latter achievement, the Schlesinger Library at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute, has been promoting its recently digitized collection of posters from the women's suffrage movement. The posters are interesting in lots of ways, including the glimpse they provide into the range of arguments that activists used to earn women the right to vote. As you can see in the images below, these include the argument that all the other states are doing it, and so should yours; the idea that men and women deserve equal access to good things like voting; and emotional appeals to women's roles as mothers.

Image courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe InstituteImage courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute

Image courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe InstituteImage courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute

Image courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe InstituteImage courtesy Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute

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2013