Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Women's Suffrage 95 Years Ago

95 years ago today, women's suffrage failed to pass the House on a vote of 174 in favor and 204 against. It would be five more years before the 19th Amendment would get the 2/3 majority it needed to become law. Comments from the triumphant opposition:

Mrs. Arthur M. Dodge, President of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, said after the vote was taken tonight:

"The deliberations of the House of Representatives today were, of course, of the greatest importance because the final vote was such as to persuade the country forever that the National Congress will not undertake to dictate to the various States what they shall do in the regulation of their franchise.

"In my opinion today's work in the House demonstrated that from now on the wave of hysteria in which the suffragists have indulged or of which they have been the victims will be on the wane."

As long as there's prejudice, states' rights will be with us.


Will said...

Why would the house have even voted on this?? As best I can recall, the House has no role in the passage of constitutional amendments.

So was this merely a symbolic vote? Or was there an effort to enact female suffrage by statute? If the latter were a possibility, wouldn't the statutory approach have gotten majority support (and passed) well before the amendment approach got supermajority support?

Neil Sinhababu said...

To date, all amendments, whether ratified or not, have been proposed by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress.