In 1920, Republicans Defeated Democrats’ War on Women

By Tom Wurtz
During this falls general election, Democrat Hillary Clinton will again play the gender card blaming Republicans for conducting a War on Women.

She’s lying. She’s good at that.

The Republicans need to debunk this lie by setting the record straight. They need to explain the truth about the passage of the 19th Amendment – women’s right to vote.

A line of women rally for women's suffrage and advertise a free rally discussing women's right to vote in Washington D.C. on Oct. 3, 1915.  (AP Photo)
A line of women rally for women’s suffrage and advertise a free rally discussing women’s right to vote in Washington D.C. on Oct. 3, 1915. (AP Photo)

While criticizing Republicans for attempting to defund Planned Parenthood Chop Shops, Hillary Clinton referred to Republicans as having “extreme views on women.” Clinton spewed the following:

“We expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans.”

If Clinton is correct and the GOP does despise women, can you imagine what subhuman Republican legislators did to block women from earning the right to vote? Let’s check history.

Did you know that a 23-year-old Republican changed the course of U.S. women? Yes, a Republican! It was Republicans who defeated the Democrats’ War on Women 96-years-ago.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified. It states:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

History reveals that the GOP HAS supported women voting rights since 1854. What? I thought Democrats defended women? Nope! What’s going on?

In 1868, shortly after Republican President Ulysses S. Grant was elected, he replaced Democrats with Republicans in Wyoming’s key government positions. Then in 1869, women in Wyoming earned the right to vote.

An effort was made to repeal the law, but Republican Gov. John Campbell vetoed it and an override failed. The law was retained when Wyoming joined the union in 1890. Wyoming women secured the right to vote 50 years before the rest of the nation thanks to Republican Gov. Campbell.

In 1878, California Republican Aaron A. Sargent introduced the 19th Amendment permitting women the right to vote. It was defeated by the Democratic-controlled Congress. Republicans re-introduced the bill every year with no success.

The times were changing.

Between 1910 and 1918, the Alaska Territory, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington all extended voting rights to women. Anti-women southern Democrats were losing a numbers war.

In 1918, Congress experienced a major party change. Democrat President Woodrow Wilson, “Kaiser Wilson” as the women’s movement called him because of his anti-19th Amendment position, broke a campaign promise. Wilson pledged to keep America out of World War I. He changed his position and entered America in WWI. Americans were outraged and overwhelmingly voted for Republicans in the 1918 midterms. Republicans now had control of the U.S. House and Senate.

Also in 1918, Wilson knew he was on the wrong side of history on women suffrage. He suddenly changed his opposition and supported the 19th Amendment by tying it to WWI. Even with Wilson’s support, Democrats in Congress were able to defeat the amendment by two votes.

On May 21, 1919, U.S. Representative James Mann (R-Ill.) re-introduced the 19th Amendment and it finally passed the House by a vote of 304-89. Ninety-one percent of Republicans voted for women compared to only 59 percent of Democrats.

On June 4, 1919, it passed the Senate 56-25. Eighty-two percent of Republicans voted in favor of the amendment while 41 percent of Democrats continued their War on Women. It was then sent to the states for ratification.

By March of 1920, 35 states had ratified the amendment, one shy of ratification. Many Democratic-controlled state legislatures voted against ratification – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia. Of the 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment, 26 were Republican states.

Tennessee became a critical battleground state. Its state legislature was deadlocked at 48-48. The deciding vote was cast by a 23-year-old Republican State Representative named Harry T. Burn. Burn was against the amendment, but his mother sent him the following note, “Hurray and vote for suffrage. Don’t forget to be a good boy.”

Being a good momma’s boy, Burn voted for its passage on Aug. 18, 1920, making Tennessee the required 36th state. On August 26, 1920, U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the 19th Amendment.

On Nov. 2, 1920, more than 8 million women voted in a presidential election for the first time. Republican Warren G. Harding won a massive victory over Democrat James M. Cox. Harding won 37 of 48 states. Harding’s 26.2 percentage-point victory is one of the largest margin wins in presidential elections. Women expressed their support by overwhelmingly supporting Harding.

Sadly, Clinton continues her misinformation campaign against Republicans:

“Yet they espouse out-of-date, out-of-touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st-century America. We are going forward; we are not going back.”

Republicans out-of-date policies are responsible for Clinton being able to run for president. A thank-you would be nice!

Republicans are currently working hard to win the Democrats War on Babies. As soon as they win this war, boys and girls will have an equal opportunity at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That doesn’t sound like an out-of-touch policy to me.

Tom Wurtz is a conservative writer from Kentucky. Contact Tom at tomwurtz@fuse.net.

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