Which states granted full suffrage to women in the 19th century?

1 Answer
Jan 11, 2016

Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho.


Voting rights in the United States have slowly evolved over time. In early America, only literate white men over 21 who owned property were allowed to vote. These restrictions have been eased as Americans have increasingly seen the right to vote as the primary determinant of citizenship.

Wyoming Territory granted full suffrage to women in 1869, mostly as a way to attract women to settle in the territory. Men vastly outnumbered women in most of the western territories.

In Utah, women could vote in 1870. Utah at the time allowed polygamous marriages, being populated by Mormons. In the eastern states a campaign had been launched to give women the right to vote in Utah so that they could vote against polygamy. Church leaders felt that granting suffrage to women would convince those outside the church that Mormon women weren't oppressed by Utah's marriage laws. The Utah territorial legislature passed the law.

Colorado was the first state to grant women's suffrage by popular vote. The People's Party (or Populist Party) had won significant gains in the 1892 election, including the governor's office. Since this was a third party, it set up new alliances and splits in the Democratic and Republican parties. Women were also organized under the Women's Christian Temperance Union, which gave them the political tools they needed.

In Idaho, similarly to Colorado, women's suffrage was passed by popular referendum. In that instance the "Free Silver" campaign, Idaho's strong labor movement, and Populism combined to help get the measure on the ballot and passed.More information on the entire question here