The 19th Amendment and Suffrage in Indiana

The 19th Amendment and Suffrage in Indiana

January 16th marked the centennial anniversary of Indiana’s ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment (which would become law later in the year, in August of 1920).  A vital milestone in the evolution of equal rights, the women’s suffrage movement had existed in one form or another since the nation’s founding, but had gained particular momentum in the Reconstruction era.  Even today, it continues to resonate, influencing the shape and ideals of modern inclusivity and equal rights movements.  Hoosiers are celebrating the milestone across the state, and after a commemoration led by the Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Crouch, on the 16th, there will be events, lectures, and travelling exhibits about women’s suffrage to learn from.  A calendar of these events as well as historical articles, memorabilia, and teaching resources can be found at, as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages.

There is a lot of information to be had in the library, as well.  Our databases are packed with excellent articles, such as “Out of the parlors and into the streets”: The changing tactic repertoire of the U.S. women’s suffrage movements and Suffrage Petitioning as Formative Practice: American Women Presage and Prepare for the Vote, 1840-1940.  Richmond’s local newspaper, the Palladium-Item, has been building up to the centennial as well, with articles celebrating women’s suffrage history like Retracing the path to suffrage: History was made in Wayne County with Indiana’s first women’s rights convention and Chronicles of suffrage: History was made in Wayne County 168 years ago.

For more in-depth works, books and e-books like Suffrage: The Epic Struggle for Women’s Right to Vote by Susan Poulson, Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage by Susan E. Marshall, and Why Movements Succeed or Fail: Opportunity, Culture, and the Struggle for Woman Suffrage by Lee Ann Banaszak help to understand every aspect of the movement.  But one of the best in-depth academic resources are dissertations – not surprisingly, the subject has been inspirational to many Indiana scholars.  Dissertations and theses such as Ladylike Reformers: Indiana Women and Progressive Reform, 1900-1920 by Barbara Springer, The Role of Quakerism in the Indiana women’s suffrage movement, 1851-1885: Towards a more perfect freedom for all by Eric L. Hamilton, ‘Are You With Us?’: A Study of the Hoosier Suffrage Movement, 1844-1920 by Sarah Bowman, and Votes for Women: Women’s Suffrage, Gendered Political Culture, and Progressive Era Masculinity in the State of Indiana by Lindsay Rump are all enlightening.

For visual learners, the library also offers feature films, videos, and documentaries (some streaming, and some on DVD), such as Emma Frank’s Suffragettes, Jef Films’ What 80 Million Women Want, and HBO’s Iron Jawed Angels.  Are you interested in learning more about the women’s suffrage movement in Indiana?  Ask us at!

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