NATIONAL SUFFRAGIST LEADERSHIP
Among the national leaders of the suffrage movement, Carrie Chapman Catt’s name looms large alongside women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anna Howard Shaw, Lucy Stone and Alice Paul. All played prominent leadership roles in the primary national suffragist organizations prior to ratification: the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), which were merged on Feb. 18, 1890, into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The latter’s membership grew to 2 million, making it at the time the largest voluntary organization in the country. Each woman brought to the table a remarkable story of dedication and sacrifice, of struggle and success.
In addition to its pivotal role in achieving ratification of the 19th Amendment, a part of NAWSA’s legacy was the formation in 1920 of the League of Women Voters (LWV), a national organization now with chapters in all 50 states. LWV, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.