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Last Updated: Nov 8, 2017 URL: http://libguides.warner.edu/content.php?pid=663191 Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

First Wave Print Page

Achievements of the First Wave

  • Married Women's Property Acts (United States)
    From From Suffrage to the Senate: America's Political Women
    Until the passage of married women’s property acts in the mid–nineteenth century, marriage essentially resulted in a woman’s civil death, which included the denial of her right to own property. The acts, however, fueled the debate on women's rights.
  • Married Women's Property Acts (Great Britian)
    From Dictionary of British History
    Two statutes that granted basic property rights to married women and were thus important landmarks in the women's movement.
  • The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution
    From Encyclopedia of Gender and Society
    The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women’s suffrage in 1920 by stipulating that the right to vote could not be denied on the basis of sex.

Issues of the First Wave

  • Women's Suffrage: Topic Page
    The right of women to vote; Throughout the latter part of the 19th cent. the issue of women's voting rights was an important phase of feminism.

Leaders and Activists of the First Wave

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902): Topic Page  
    Women’s rights leader and feminist pioneer; She was drawn to the abolitionist, temperance, and women’s rights movements through visits to the home of her cousin, the reformer Gerrit Smith.
  • Frances Willard (1839-1898): Topic Page

    Undoubtedly the dominating presence in the WCTU, Willard devoted her considerable energies to women’s education and suffrage and protective measures for working women.
  • Lucy Stone (1818-1893): Topic Page
    Abolitionist and women’s rights activist. At age 25 she finally was able to enter Oberlin College (Ohio), and when she graduated (1847) she was the first Massachusetts woman to have earned a college degree. In 1850 she was a leader in calling a women’s rights convention in Worcester, MA, and her speech there both won over Susan B. Anthony to the cause and inspired John Stuart Mill to write ‘The Enfranchisement of Woman’.
  • Olympia Brown (1835-1926)
    From Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers
    Inspired by the ordination of Antoinette Brown Blackwell in 1853, Olympia Brown set out to become a preacher herself, achieving her goal in 1863 when she was ordained in the Universalist Church. She was also a leading suffragist and pacifist as a member of the Congressional Union and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
  • Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906): Topic Page

    Undoubtedly one of the most forceful pioneers of women’s suffrage in the United States, Anthony never gave up hope of winning.
  • Virginia Woolf (1882-1941): Topic Page

    Her essay A Room of One's Own (1929) has become a feminist classic.

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