*Make sure you take the time to tell your mother you love her, she won't always be with you forever.
In 1756, Lydia Chapin Taft, also known as Lydia Taft, became the first legal woman voter in America. She voted on at least three occasions in an open New England Town Meeting, at Uxbridge, Massachusetts, with the consent of the electorate. This was between 1756 and 1768, during America's colonial period. New Jersey granted women the vote (with the same property qualifications as for men, although, since married women did not own property in their own right, only unmarried women and widows qualified) under the state constitution of 1776, where the word "inhabitants" was used without qualification of sex or race. New Jersey women, along with "aliens...persons of color, or negroes," lost the vote in 1807, when the franchise was restricted to white males, ostensibly, to combat electoral fraud by simplifying the conditions for eligibility.
The Pitcairn Islands granted women's suffrage in 1838. Various countries, colonies and states granted restricted women's suffrage in the latter half of the nineteenth century, starting with South Australia in 1861. The 1871 Paris Commune granted voting rights to women, but they were taken away with the fall of the Commune and would only be granted again in July 1944 by Charles de Gaulle. In 1886 the small island kingdom of Tavolara became a republic and introduced women's suffrage. However, in 1899 the monarchy was reinstated, and the kingdom was some years later on annexed by Italy. The Pacific colony of Franceville, declaring independence in 1889, became the first self-governing nation to practice universal suffrage without distinction of sex or color; however, it soon came back under French and British colonial rule.
Women's suffrage has been granted at various times in various countries throughout the world. In many countries women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women from certain races and social classes were still unable to vote.
In medieval France and several other European countries, voting for city and town assemblies and meetings was open to the heads of households, regardless of sex. Women's suffrage was granted by the Corsican Republic of 1755 whose Constitution stipulated a national representative assembly elected by all inhabitants over the age of 25, both women (if unmarried or widowed) and men. Women's suffrage was ended when France annexed the island in 1769. The origins of the modern movement for female suffrage are to be found in France in the 1780s and 1790s in the writings of Antoine Condorcet and Olympe de Gouges, who advocated this as a right in national elections.
Unrestricted women's suffrage in terms of voting rights (women were not initially permitted to stand for election) in a self-governing colony was granted in New Zealand in the early 1890s. Following a movement led by Kate Sheppard, the women's suffrage bill was adopted mere weeks before the general election of 1893.
The self-governing colony of South Australia granted both universal suffrage and allowed women to stand for the colonial parliament in 1895. The Commonwealth of Australia provided this for women in Federal elections from 1902 (except Aboriginal women). The first European country to introduce women's suffrage was the Grand Duchy of Finland. The administrative reforms following the 1905 uprising granted Finnish women the right both to vote (universal and equal suffrage) and to stand for election in 1906. The world's first female members of parliament were also in Finland, when on 1907, 19 women took up their places in the Parliament of Finland as a result of the 1907 parliamentary elections.
Soviet poster celebrates women's right to vote and to be elected.
In the years before World War I, Norway (1913) and Denmark also gave women the right to vote, and it was extended throughout the remaining Australian states. Near the end of the war, various states gave women the right to vote, including Canada, Soviet Russia, Germany and Poland. British women over 30 had the vote in 1918, Dutch women in 1919, and American women in states that had previously denied them suffrage were allowed the vote in 1920. Women in Turkey were granted voting rights in 1926. In 1928, suffrage was extended to all British women on the same terms as men, that is, for persons 21 years old and older. One of the most recent jurisdictions to grant women full equal voting rights was Bhutan in 2008.
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