Suffrage in 60 Seconds: NAWSA Versus NWP

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Hello I'm Ranger Susan from the Belmont Paul Women's Equality National Monument, home of the National Woman's Party founded by Alice Paul. Alice Paul and the NWP were good at grabbing headlines in their fight for the right to vote for women, but they were always a small part of the woman suffrage movement. At the time, there was a much larger and better funded organization, the National American Woman Suffrage Association or NAWSA, led by Carrie Chapman Catt. Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt did not care for each other. Although they shared the goal of winning the vote for women, they each thought the other one was going about it the wrong way. And so there was a lot of tension. They would get together sometimes to try and work out their differences and find a way forward together, and during one meeting that was going particularly badly, Carrie Chapman Catt stood up in the middle of it. pointed our finger at Alice Paul and said, "I will fight you to the last ditch!"

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Did you know? The National Woman's Party was not the largest or most prominent organization during the fight for women's right to vote. Carrie Chapman Catt led the National American Woman's Suffrage Association (NAWSA) which had more members, more power, and more money than the NWP. Although Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt were both fighting for woman suffrage, they often fought each other as they worked for passage of the 19th Amendment. Whose side would you have been on?

Part of a series of articles titled Suffrage in Sixty Seconds.

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, National Mall and Memorial Parks, Pennsylvania Avenue, Women's Rights National Historical Park

Last updated: September 1, 2020