Why is the womens suffrage movement important to U.S history?
The Constitution did not explicitly give women all the same rights as men.
To women of the 19th and early 20th Centuries there were a variety of problems which beset women. Not only could women not vote, but they were not allowed entry into most of America's colleges, the could not want for a job which was not teacher, wife, nurse or midwife. Men told women how to dress, where they belonged and did not belong, and how they were supposed to act.
In the late 19th century there was a small group of women who desired to become doctors and engineers but were not allowed access to the education necessary. The radicals among them had the temerity to belief that the 14th Amendments guarantee of equality under the law for all persons included women. But the male political monopoly did not agree.
Margaret Sanger, a trained nurse who worked in the lower east side of New York, encountered extreme resistance to her teaching the poor women of that district how take care of the needs peculiar to women. She also had ideas on birth control which horrified New York's gentry.
In the 1900 to 1919 era women were not just marching for the right to vote, but for all the same rights men experienced under the Constitution.