Votes for Women! The American Woman Suffrage Movement and the Nineteenth Amendment
A Reference Guide
by Marion W. Roydhouse
July 2020, 298pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3670-1
$72, £56, 63€, A99
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3671-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The woman suffrage movement—along with the civil rights movement—changed who had access to the ballot and who could exercise political power in our democratic society.

This contextual narrative of the 70-year history of the woman suffrage movement in the United States demonstrates how an important mass political and social movement coalesced into a political force despite class, racial, ethnic, religious, and regional barriers.

Votes for Women! provides an updated consideration of the questions raised by the mass movement to gain equality and access to power in our democracy. It interprets the campaigns for woman suffrage from the 1830s until 1920, analyzes the impact of the Nineteenth Amendment, and presents primary documents to allow a glimpse into the minds of those who campaigned for and against woman suffrage.

The book’s examination of the 70-year woman suffrage campaign shows how the movement faced enormous barriers, was perceived as threatening the very core of accepted beliefs, and was a struggle that showcased the efforts of strong protagonists and brilliant organizers who were intellectually innovative and yet were reflective of the great divides of race, ethnicity, religion, economics, and region existing across the nation. Included within the narrative section are biographies of significant personalities in the movement, such as militant Alice Paul and anti-suffragist Ida Tarbell as well as more commonly known leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.


  • Documents how suffragists managed to create large, politically sophisticated organizations that conducted massive campaigns without the benefit of modern technology, eventually triumphing over deeply held social conventions, religious beliefs, and strong anti-suffrage opposition
  • Includes primary documents that enable readers to hear the voices of the men and women fighting for and against woman suffrage
  • Puts the woman suffrage movement in the context of a wider struggle for universal suffrage and democracy, which was fought from the time of the American Revolution through the 20th century
  • Provides a readable analysis of the suffrage movement that extends far beyond the traditional focus on a handful of familiar figures, widening the scope to include the Western campaigns; addressing internal conflict over race, class, ethnic, and religious differences; and presents a more balanced interpretation of the militant suffragists
  • Supplies a chronology of major events, bibliography, and listing of online resources that add to understanding of the long battle and guide further exploration of the subject
Marion W. Roydhouse, PhD, is emerita professor of history and founding director of the Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning at Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, PA. Her published work includes the book Women of Industry and Reform: Shaping the History of Pennsylvania, 1865–1940 and the articles "Bridging Chasms: Community and the Southern YWCA"; " Big Enough to Tell the Weeds from the Beans: The Impact of Industrial Life on Women in the South"; and "Partners in Progress: The Affiliated Schools for Women Workers." She chaired the Test Development Committee for American History and Social Studies Achievement Tests, was a reader for AP American History, and participated in grant projects on teaching history and as a consultant on writing across the curriculum in the K–12 system. She led grants in higher education including grants from NEH, FIPSE, and an integrative learning grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching.


2021 Choice Outstanding Academic Title—Choice, December 1, 2021


"The engaging, warts-and-all approach to a broad range of historical figures makes this a good complement to history lessons."—Booklist, September 1, 2020

"A skilled blend of interpretative essays and primary documents about the women’s suffrage movement recommended for students, teachers, and general readers."—Library Journal, October 1, 2020

"Clear writing, ample integration of primary sources, and a masterful use of state-by-state chronology make this book a pleasure to read and reference. Essential. All undergraduates."—Choice, October 1, 2021
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