A Position Changed
Carrie Chapman Catt and the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) that she led worked during the war to gain President Wilson's support for a constitutional amendment securing voting rights for all American women. She wrote to Wilson: "Our Country is asking its women to give their all, and upon their voluntary and free offering may depend the outcome of the war. If the Amendment fails, it will take the heart out of thousands of women." By the fall of 1918, Wilson had been persuaded. On September 30, Wilson spoke to the Senate, which was preparing to vote on the suffrage amendment. In the speech displayed above, the president argued that the extension of women's suffrage was "vitally essential to the successful prosecution of the great war of humanity."