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Women's Suffrage Discussion Questions

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

After learning about women's suffrage (earning the right to vote) use these discussion questions with your middle and high school students to help them think critically about what they learned.

Women's Suffrage

The term suffrage describes the right of a person to vote. After teaching students about the timeline of women's suffrage in the United States and around the world, help them think deeper about the facts with these questions. These are designed to be used in a middle or high school history classroom. The questions are divided into two sections: women's suffrage in the United States and women's suffrage around the world.

Suffrage in the United States

  • In the earliest years of the United States, few people even questioned the fact that women lacked the right to vote. The Declaration of Independence even claims that ''all men are created equal,'' and means ''men'' in the literal sense, offering no protection of rights to women. Why had this mindset developed in the United States and around the world?
  • In your opinion, who was the most influential leader of the women's suffrage movement in the United States. Why does her (or his) voice stand above others in the call to get women the right to vote?
  • Of the strategies that women used to earn the right to vote in the United States, which do you think was the most successful? Why?
  • Read the wording of the 19th Amendment. What stands out to you in the text? Does anything surprise you?
  • In the United States, several individual states granted women the right to vote before it was approved by the federal government. Why do you think these states gave women the right to vote before the federal government? Can you think of any other issues that were first allowed by some states before becoming federal law?
  • In the 2018 elections, 55 percent of eligible women in the United States voted. What do you think leaders like Susan B. Anthony would say about the number of women who did not turn out to vote?
  • What was the role of Frederick Douglas in the women's suffrage movement? What surprises you about this?

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