Erik Nitsche: Equal Rights Graphic Design
Artist: Erik Nitsche
In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Martha C. Wright and Mary Ann McClintock organized the Seneca Falls Convention in New York to discuss women's rights. At this meeting, 68 women and 32 men drafted and signed the Declaration of Principles. This document, which was patterned after the Declaration of Independence, stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are equal..." In 1852, Stanton worked with Susan B. Anthony to organize another convention, which marked the beginning of this powerful duo's contribution to women's rights. Together they established the National Woman Suffrage Association, and worked for over 50 years to gain equality for women. In 1878 and again in 1914, Constitutional amendments giving women the right to vote were attempted, but failed to pass Congress. Disappointed but not defeated, American women continued to pursue their ultimate goal of passing legislation to change the U.S. Constitution to allow them the right to vote. Women's contributions during World War I helped to reverse Congress' position on the 19th amendment. The House of Representatives passed the amendment on January 10, 1918, by a vote of 274 to 136. By June 4, 1919, the Senate had passed the amendment 66 to 30. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, giving it the necessary two-thirds majority vote from the states. Finally, on August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment was proclaimed part of the United States Constitution.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the Germany 80pf Equal Rights stamp issued November 8, 1984.
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