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The Power of Paper: A Driving Force for Political Change

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Categories: Ideas and Innovation
vintage photo of women voting

Aug. 18, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. It took women’s suffrage activists nearly 100 years to win that right, and the campaign wasn’t easy. But like other movements to create social and political change, it could not have been done without paper.

Paper played an essential role in getting the amendment written and passed. First, there was the original newspaper ad announcing the first women’s rights convention. Countless leaflets, letters, newspaper clippings and other documents later, there was The History of Women’s Suffrage. Scholars have stayed busy over the last century telling the story of a journey to create social and political change that has benefitted generations of women — and set the stage for future movements to ensure all Americans have the right to vote.