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Later, British suffragists who believed in more radical tactics i.
Find more info here. Although women had called for voting rights in other circumstances before the Seneca Falls, suffrage organizations traced their beginnings back to this convention. Women in Wyoming first voted on September 6, Learn more about the Wyoming history here. The Utah Territorial Legislature first extended voting rights to women citizens on February 12, Seraph Young and about twenty-five other women voted in a Salt Lake City municipal election two days later, on February 14, Women citizens voted in Utah untilwhen Congress revoked their voting rights.
The state constitution allowed women to hold public office for the first time. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress. Congress did not grant U. Without citizenship, Native women could not vote. Even after the passage of this act, some Native Americans were still unable to vote. Since voting rights have traditionally been controlled by states, some states had laws specifically barring Native Americans, or those living on reservations, from voting.
As in other states, most Native Americans in Utah did not have voting rights until because they were not considered U. ly, they had been deated only as citizens of their own nations, and thus ineligible to vote in U. Aftermany Native Americans living in Utah were not allowed to vote if they lived on a reservation. Many immigrants from Asian countries were legally prohibited from becoming U. During World War II, tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were interned in camps under the guise of national security.
While stripped of their rights, those who were U. For more information, read here. Other women of color were not prohibited from voting by Utah or U. Council Hall. Photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.
Seraph Young was the first to cast her ballot, and about 25 other women voted as well. Since Wyoming did not hold an election until September 6,women in Utah were the first to cast their ballots under an equal suffrage law.
Bennett Federal Building now standsbut the building was moved to its current location just south of the Utah Capitol Building in It now houses the Utah Office of Tourism. Seraph Young, a schoolteacher, voted on her way to work on February 14, As Susan B. Anthony explained, it was much easier for Western territories to secure equal suffrage in their proposed constitutions as they applied for statehood, than it was for Easterners to make amendments to their already existing constitutions which had long precluded women from voting.
Historians point to various factors that led to women in Utah obtaining voting rights with little effort and decades before other states and territories. Read on for some factors, or here.
After slavery was abolished and black men received voting rights through the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, many American reformers turned their attention from ending slavery to ending polygamy. They considered polygamy morally wrong and oppressive to women. In the s, many leaders and members of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practiced polygamy. Some anti-polygamists believed giving Utah women voting rights would empower them to end polygamy.
Latter-day Saints believed that Mormon women in Utah would use their vote to show their support for their religious practice of polygamy. They also thought that giving Utah women the vote would be a way to change negative views and perceptions about the LDS Church and the way women were treated in Utah. They wanted to show that Mormon women were not oppressed, helpless, and enslaved as many anti-polygamists believed.
In addition, Congress introduced the anti-polygamy Collum Bill in By granting Utah women a voice in political affairs, they too could help fend off anti-polygamy measures. And by granting women the vote, Utah also garnered the political support of a of powerful national suffragists, like Susan B. Second row: Ann M. Cannon, Emmeline B. Wells, Susa Young Gates. Greene Richards. Bottom row: Lucy B. Young, Hana Kaaepa. KimballZina D. Young, and Emmeline B. They organized local suffrage meetings and also participated in national and international suffrage conventions, working with national suffragists.
Emily S. Richards then organized local suffrage associations in conjunction with local Relief Societies throughout Utah and the intermountain West. ByUtah women were welcomed into membership in the International and National Councils of Women.
Many supported the principle of universal suffrage but held that granting the vote to Utah women only strengthened the political power of the LDS Church and perpetuated the practice of polygamy. Brown, along with delegate Emily S. The formation of the Utah Woman Suffrage Association UWSA included a few non-Mormon women, although Froiseth and many other non-Mormon Utah suffragists actively opposed the formation of the organization and refused to. Tensions between Mormon and non-Mormon suffragists finally eased after the LDS Church officially disavowed polygamy inallowing for more cooperation leading to statehood and suffrage.
After receiving the vote, women throughout Utah became very involved in political life. However, most Utah women did not vote for candidates opposed to polygamy like anti-polygamists had hoped. The practice of polygamy continued.
Since giving Utah women the vote did not end polygamy, anti-polygamists worked through Congress to pressure the LDS Church to disavow polygamy through anti-polygamy laws. InCongress passed the anti-polygamy Edmunds Act that took voting rights away from both female and male polygamists. InCongress passed further legislation, the Edmunds-Tucker Actin another effort to end polygamy. Part of this legislation took away the voting rights of polygamous men and all Utah women, whether they were Mormon or non-Mormon, polygamous or monogamous, married or single.
Utah Woman Suffrage Association banner, Many Utah women were angry that their voting rights were taken away, and they worked hard to win them back. With this official change in policy, Congress passed the Enabling Act ofwhich allowed Utah to apply for statehood. See our growing collection of short biographies. By the mid s, however, NAWSA was focused on the passage of the 19th Amendment as the most likely way to enfranchise American women. During that campaign, suffragists like Susan B. While the British movement used green, white, and violet for g ive w omen the v otePaul substituted gold for green to continue the American suffrage tradition.
Utah and other western suffragists with Susan B. Even though National Woman Suffrage Association NWSA leaders were opposed to polygamy, they were still willing to work with polygamous suffragists and allow them to participate in their organization. And Utah suffrage leaders frequently traveled east to attend and speak at national suffrage meetings and conferences. They also traveled abroad to the United Kingdom to attend international suffrage conferences, coordinating with British suffragists.
Utah was held up to show that extending voting rights to women was beneficial and necessary. Read here to learn more about Susan B. Emmeline B. City and County Building, circa Franklin S. Richards and Orson F. Despite minor opposition, with B. Roberts as the most vocal opponent, the delegates voted to include a clause in the Utah Constitution that guaranteed suffrage and right to hold office to Utah citizens regardless of their gender. Utah voters, all of them male, then voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed Constitution.
Martha Hughes Cannon. Three women were elected to state legislative positions in Dr. Anderson of Ogden and Eurithe K. LaBarthe of Salt Lake City.Question utah women
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