In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John Adams. 

 “I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. … {W]e … will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” 

The Constitution was a practical governing document. That meant compromise, and that meant that who got to vote was left to the states. 

Generally, that meant the people who got to vote were just a small subset of white men: those who met the different property requirements, with a few exceptions for some women and freed slaves who were landowners, but those exceptions died out.

In 1848, a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, which launched the suffrage movement. 

These women sought equality with men, including the right to vote, drawing their claim from the high principles of the Declaration of Independence. 

Heather Higgins, chairman of IWF, discusses the history of women’s suffrage in this new video by The Federalist Society.