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The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...

United States Constitution
prohibits the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
and its
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
from denying the
right to vote Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (although the term is sometimes used for any right to vote Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an Constituency, ele ...

right to vote
to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex, in effect recognising the right of women to a vote. The amendment was the culmination of a decades-long movement for
women's suffrage in the United States Women's legal right Natural rights and legal rights are two types of rights. * Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and so are ''universal'', ''fundamental rights, ...
, at both the state and national levels, and was part of the worldwide movement towards
women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the work being done by women for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms, women sought to change voting law ...
and part of the wider
women's rights Women's rights are the and s claimed for and s worldwide. They formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the 19th century and the s during the 20th and 21st centuries. In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supp ...
movement. The first women's suffrage amendment was introduced in
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity ...

Congress
in 1878. However, a suffrage amendment did not pass the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
until May 21, 1919, which was quickly followed by the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
, on June 4, 1919. It was then submitted to the states for ratification, achieving the requisite 36 ratifications to secure adoption, and thereby go into effect, on August 18, 1920. The Nineteenth Amendment's adoption was
certified Certification is the formal attestation or confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person, or organization. This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit. Acc ...
on August 26, 1920. Before 1776, women had a vote in several of the
colonies In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the metropole, metropolitan ...
in what would become the United States, but by 1807 every state constitution had denied women even limited suffrage. Organizations supporting
women's rights Women's rights are the and s claimed for and s worldwide. They formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the 19th century and the s during the 20th and 21st centuries. In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supp ...
became more active in the mid-19th century and, in 1848, the
Seneca Falls convention The Seneca Falls Convention was the first women's rights Women's rights are the and s claimed for and s worldwide. They formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the 19th century and the s during the 20th and 21st centurie ...
adopted the
Declaration of Sentiments The Declaration of Sentiments, also known as the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, is a document signed in 1848 by 68 women and 32 men—100 out of some 300 attendees at the first women's rights convention to be organized by women. Held in Sene ...
, which called for equality between the sexes and included a resolution urging women to secure the vote. Pro-suffrage organizations used a variety of tactics including legal arguments that relied on existing amendments. After those arguments were struck down by the
U.S. Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or Americ ...

U.S. Supreme Court
, suffrage organizations, with activists like
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony
and
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American writer and activist who was a leader of the women's rights movement in the U.S. during the mid- to late-1800s. She was the main force behind the 1848 Seneca Falls C ...

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
, called for a new constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the same right to vote possessed by men. By the late 19th century, new states and territories, particularly in the
West West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are an evenly spaced set of horizontal directions (or azimuth An azimuth (; from Arabic اَلسُّمُوت ''as-sumūt'', 'the di ...
, began to grant women the right to vote. In 1878, a suffrage proposal that would eventually become the Nineteenth Amendment was introduced to Congress, but was rejected in 1887. In the 1890s, suffrage organizations focused on a national amendment while still working at state and local levels.
Lucy Burns Lucy Burns (July 28, 1879 – December 22, 1966) was an American suffragist and women's rights advocate.Bland, 1981 (p. 8) She was a passionate activist in the United States and in the United Kingdom, joined the militant suffragettes. Burns was ...
and
Alice Paul Alice Stokes Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977) was an American Quaker, suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, and one of the main leaders and strategists of the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constit ...

Alice Paul
emerged as important leaders whose different strategies helped move the Nineteenth Amendment forward. Entry of the United States into
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
helped to shift public perception of women's suffrage. The
National American Woman Suffrage Association The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was an organization formed on February 18, 1890, to advocate in favor of women's suffrage in the United States. It was created by the merger of two existing organizations, the National ...

National American Woman Suffrage Association
, led by
Carrie Chapman Catt Carrie Chapman Catt (January 9, 1859 Fowler, p. 3 – March 9, 1947) was an American women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the work being done by women ...

Carrie Chapman Catt
, supported the war effort, making the case that women should be rewarded with enfranchisement for their patriotic wartime service. The
National Woman's Party The National Woman's Party (NWP) was an American women's political organization formed in 1916 to fight for women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the wo ...
staged marches, demonstrations, and hunger strikes while pointing out the contradictions of fighting abroad for democracy while limiting it at home by denying women the right to vote. The work of both organizations swayed public opinion, prompting President Wilson to announce his support of the suffrage amendment in 1918. It passed in 1919 and was adopted in 1920, withstanding two legal challenges, '' Leser v. Garnett'' and '' Fairchild v. Hughes''. The Nineteenth Amendment enfranchised 26 million American women in time for the 1920 U.S. presidential election, but the powerful women's voting bloc that many politicians feared failed to fully materialize until decades later. Additionally, the Nineteenth Amendment failed to fully enfranchise African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American women (see ). Shortly after the amendment's adoption, Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party began work on the
Equal Rights Amendment The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) isCongress set a deadline for the ERA's ratification, which was extended, and has long since expired, but it is an open question whether the deadline has legal force. a proposed amendment to the United States C ...
, which they believed was a necessary additional step towards equality.


Text

The Nineteenth Amendment provides:


Background


Early woman suffrage efforts (1776–1865)

The
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...

United States Constitution
, adopted in 1789, left the boundaries of
suffrage Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise, is the right to vote in public, political elections (although the term is sometimes used for any right to vote). In some languages, and occasionally in English, the right to vote is called a ...

suffrage
undefined. The only directly elected body created under the original Constitution was the
U.S. House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unin ...
, for which voter qualifications were explicitly delegated to the individual states. While women had the right to vote in several of the pre-revolutionary colonies in what would become the United States, after 1776, with the exception of
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
, all states adopted constitutions that denied voting rights to women. New Jersey's constitution initially granted suffrage to property-holding residents, including single and married women, but the state rescinded women's voting rights in 1807 and did not restore them until New Jersey ratified the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. While scattered movements and organizations dedicated to women's rights existed previously, the 1848
Seneca Falls Convention The Seneca Falls Convention was the first women's rights Women's rights are the and s claimed for and s worldwide. They formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the 19th century and the s during the 20th and 21st centurie ...
in
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
is traditionally held as the start of the American women's rights movement. Attended by nearly 300 women and men, the convention was designed to "discuss the social, civil, and religious rights of women", and culminated in the adoption of the
Declaration of Sentiments The Declaration of Sentiments, also known as the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, is a document signed in 1848 by 68 women and 32 men—100 out of some 300 attendees at the first women's rights convention to be organized by women. Held in Sene ...
. Signed by 68 women and 32 men, the ninth of the document's twelve resolved clauses reads, "Resolved, That it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise." Conveners
Lucretia Mott Lucretia Mott (''née'' Coffin A coffin is a Funeral, funerary box used for viewing or keeping a corpse, either for burial or cremation. The word took two different paths. Old French ''cofin'', originally meaning ''basket'', became ''coffi ...

Lucretia Mott
and
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American writer and activist who was a leader of the women's rights movement in the U.S. during the mid- to late-1800s. She was the main force behind the 1848 Seneca Falls C ...

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
became key early leaders in the U.S. women's suffrage movement, often referred to at the time as the "woman suffrage movement". Mott's support of women's suffrage stemmed from a summer spent with the Seneca Nation, one of the six tribes in the Iroquois Confederacy, where women had significant political power, including the right to choose and remove chiefs and veto acts of war. Activism addressing federal women's suffrage was minimal during the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
. In 1865, at the conclusion of the war, a "Petition for Universal Suffrage", signed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony
, among others, called for a national constitutional amendment to "prohibit the several states from disenfranchising any of their citizens on the ground of sex". The campaign was the first national petition drive to feature woman suffrage among its demands. While suffrage bills were introduced into many state legislatures during this period, they were generally disregarded and few came to a vote.


Reconstruction Amendments and woman suffrage (1865–1877)

The women's suffrage movement, delayed by the American Civil War, resumed activities during the
Reconstruction era The Reconstruction era was a period in American history The history of the United States started with the arrival of Native Americans in North America around 15,000 BC. Native American cultures in the United States, Numerous indigenous ...
(1865–1877). Two rival suffrage organizations formed in 1869: the
National Woman Suffrage Association The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) was formed on May 15, 1869, to work for women's suffrage in the United States. Its main leaders were Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It was created after the women's rights movement spl ...

National Woman Suffrage Association
(NWSA), led by suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and the
American Woman Suffrage Association The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) was a Single-issue politics, single-issue national organization formed in Boston in 1869. The AWSA lobbied state governments to enact laws granting or expanding women's right to vote in the United Sta ...
(AWSA), led by
Lucy Stone Lucy Stone (August 13, 1818 – October 18, 1893) was a prominent U.S. orator, Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist, and suffragist, and a vocal advocate and organizer promoting women's rights movement, rights for women. In 1847, St ...

Lucy Stone
. The NWSA's main effort was lobbying Congress for a women's suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The AWSA generally focused on a long-term effort of state campaigns to achieve women's suffrage on a state-by-state basis. During the Reconstruction era, women's rights leaders advocated for inclusion of universal suffrage as a civil right in the
Reconstruction Amendments The , or the , are the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Thirteenth, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Fifteenth amendments to th ...
(the
Thirteenth In music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associa ...
, Fourteenth, and
Fifteenth In music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated conc ...
Amendments). Some unsuccessfully argued that the Fifteenth Amendment, which prohibited denying voting rights "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude", implied suffrage for women. Despite their efforts, these amendments did not enfranchise women... Section2 of the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly discriminated between men and women by only penalizing states which deprived adult male citizens of the vote. The NWSA attempted several unsuccessful court challenges in the mid-1870s.. Their legal argument, known as the "New Departure" strategy, contended that the Fourteenth Amendment (granting universal citizenship) and Fifteenth Amendment (granting the vote irrespective of race) together guaranteed voting rights to women.. The
U.S. Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or Americ ...

U.S. Supreme Court
rejected this argument. In '' Bradwell v. Illinois'' the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the
Supreme Court of Illinois The Supreme Court of Illinois is the state supreme court In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located ...
's refusal to grant
Myra Bradwell Myra Colby Bradwell (February 12, 1831 – February 14, 1894) was an American publisher and activism, political activist. She attempted in 1869 to become the first woman to be admitted to the Illinois Bar (law), bar to practice law, but was deni ...

Myra Bradwell
a license to practice law was not a violation of the U.S. Constitution and refused to extend federal authority in support of women's citizenship rights. In ''
Minor v. Happersett ''Minor v. Happersett'', 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 162 (1875), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court holding (law), held that, while women are no less citizens than men are, citizenship does not confer a right to vote, and therefore s ...
'' the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the
Privileges or Immunities Clause The Privileges or Immunities Clause is Amendment XIV, Section 1, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or esta ...
of the Fourteenth Amendment did not provide voting rights to U.S. citizens; it only guaranteed additional protection of privileges to citizens who already had them. If a state constitution limited suffrage to male citizens of the United States, then women in that state did not have voting rights. After U.S. Supreme Court decisions between 1873 and 1875 denied voting rights to women in connection with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, suffrage groups shifted their efforts to advocating for a new constitutional amendment. Continued settlement of the
western frontier The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and culture in the forward wave of American expansion that began with European colonial settlements in the early 17th century and e ...
, along with the establishment of territorial constitutions, allowed the women's suffrage issue to be raised as the western territories progressed toward statehood. Through the activism of suffrage organizations and independent political parties, women's suffrage was included in the constitutions of
Wyoming Territory The Territory of Wyoming was an organized incorporated territory of the United States The territory of the United States and its overseas possessions has territorial evolution of the United States, evolved over time, from the colonial United ...
(1869) and
Utah Territory The Territory of Utah was an organized incorporated territory of the United States and the founding of the United States: Kingdom of Great Britain, British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow. Th ...
(1870). Women's suffrage in Utah was revoked in 1887, when Congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887 that also prohibited
polygamy Polygamy (from Greek language, Late Greek , ''polygamía'', "state of marriage to many spouses") is the practice of marriage, marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at the same time, sociologists call this poly ...
; it was not restored in
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...

Utah
until it achieved statehood in 1896.


Post-Reconstruction (1878–1910)

Existing state legislatures in the West, as well as those east of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and b ...

Mississippi River
, began to consider suffrage bills in the 1870s and 1880s. Several held voter referendums, but they were unsuccessful until the suffrage movement was revived in the 1890s. Full women's suffrage continued in
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
after it became a state in 1890.
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain West The Mountain West Conference (MW) is one of the collegiate athletic conferences affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association The National Collegiate Athletic ...

Colorado
granted partial voting rights that allowed women to vote in school board elections in 1893 and Idaho granted women suffrage in 1896. Beginning with
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state) Washington (), officially the State of Washington, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. ...
in 1910, seven more western states passed women's suffrage legislation, including
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
in 1911,
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of it ...

Oregon
,
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a U.S. state, state in the Southwestern United States, Southwestern region of the United States. It is also usually considered part of the Mountain States, Mountain states. It is th ...

Arizona
, and
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebraska to the north; ...

Kansas
in 1912,
Alaska Territory Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...
in 1913, and
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
and
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Nevada
in 1914. All states that were successful in securing full voting rights for women before 1920 were located in the West. A federal amendment intended to grant women the right to vote was introduced in the
U.S. Senate The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the ...
for the first time in 1878 by Aaron A. Sargent, a Senator from California who was a women's suffrage advocate.. Stanton and other women testified before the Senate in support of the amendment.. The proposal sat in a committee until it was considered by the full Senate and rejected in a 16-to-34 vote in 1887. See also: Excerpt from An amendment proposed in 1888 in the U.S. House of Representatives called for limited suffrage for women who were spinsters or widows who owned property. By the 1890s, suffrage leaders began to recognize the need to broaden their base of support to achieve success in passing suffrage legislation at the national, state, and local levels. While western women, state suffrage organizations, and the AWSA concentrated on securing women's voting rights for specific states, efforts at the national level persisted through a strategy of congressional testimony, petitioning, and lobbying. After the AWSA and NWSA merged in 1890 to form the
National American Woman Suffrage Association The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was an organization formed on February 18, 1890, to advocate in favor of women's suffrage in the United States. It was created by the merger of two existing organizations, the National ...

National American Woman Suffrage Association
(NAWSA), the group directed its efforts to win state-level support for suffrage. Suffragists had to campaign publicly for the vote in order to convince male voters, state legislators, and members of Congress that American women wanted to be enfranchised and that women voters would benefit American society. Suffrage supporters also had to convince American women, many of whom were indifferent to the issue, that suffrage was something they wanted. Apathy among women was an ongoing obstacle that the suffragists had to overcome through organized grassroots efforts. Despite the suffragists' efforts, no state granted women suffrage between 1896 and 1910, and the NAWSA shifted its focus toward passage of a national constitutional amendment. Suffragists also continued to press for the right to vote in individual states and territories while retaining the goal of federal recognition.


African-American woman suffrage efforts

Thousands of African-American women were active in the suffrage movement, addressing issues of race, gender, and class, as well as enfranchisement, often through the church but eventually through organizations devoted to specific causes. While white women sought the vote to gain an equal voice in the political process, African-American women often sought the vote as a means of racial uplift and as a way to effect change in the post-Reconstruction era. Notable African-American suffragists such as
Mary Church Terrell Mary Church Terrell (born Mary Eliza Church; September 23, 1863 – July 24, 1954) was one of the first African-American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or eth ...

Mary Church Terrell
,
Sojourner Truth Sojourner Truth (; born Isabella Baumfree; November 26, 1883) was an American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter ...

Sojourner Truth
,
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (September 24, 1825 – February 22, 1911) was an American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist, suffragist, poet, teacher, public speaker, and writer. Beginning in 1845, she was one of the first African-Ameri ...
,
Fannie Barrier Williams Frances "Fannie" Barrier Williams (February 12, 1855 – March 4, 1944) was an African Americans, African American educator and political and women's rights activist, and the first black woman to gain membership to the Chicago Woman's Club. S ...

Fannie Barrier Williams
, and advocated for suffrage in tandem with civil rights for African-Americans. As early as 1866, in Philadelphia,
Margaretta Forten Margaretta Forten (1806 – 1875) was an African-American suffragist and Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist.Alexander, Leslie''Encyclopedia of African American History, Volume 1''ABC-CLIO (2010) p.1045Harriet Forten Purvis Harriet Forten Purvis (1810 June 11, 1875) was an African-American abolitionist and first generation suffragist. With her mother and sisters, she formed the first biracial women's abolitionist group, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. Sh ...
helped to found the Philadelphia Suffrage Association; Purvis would go on to serve on the executive committee of the
American Equal Rights Association The American Equal Rights Association (AERA) was formed in 1866 in the United States. According to its constitution, its purpose was "to secure Equal Rights to all American citizens, especially the right of suffrage, irrespective of race, color o ...
(AERA), an organization that supported suffrage for women and for African-American men. A national movement in support of suffrage for African-American women began in earnest with the rise of the black women's club movement. In 1896, club women belonging to various organizations promoting women's suffrage met in Washington, D.C. to form the
National Association of Colored Women The National Association of Colored Women's Clubs (NACWC) is an American organization that was formed in July 1896 at the First Annual Convention of the National Federation of Afro-American Women in Washington, D.C., United States, by a merger of t ...
, of which Frances E.W. Harper, ,
Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, March 10, 1913) was an American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist and political activist. Born into Slavery in the United States, slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions ...

Harriet Tubman
, and Ida B. Wells Barnett were founding members. Led by
Mary Church Terrell Mary Church Terrell (born Mary Eliza Church; September 23, 1863 – July 24, 1954) was one of the first African-American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or eth ...

Mary Church Terrell
, it was the largest federation of African-American women's clubs in the nation. After 1914 it became the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. When the Fifteenth Amendment enfranchised African-American men, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony abandoned the AERA, which supported universal suffrage, to found the
National Woman Suffrage Association The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) was formed on May 15, 1869, to work for women's suffrage in the United States. Its main leaders were Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It was created after the women's rights movement spl ...

National Woman Suffrage Association
in 1869, saying black men should not receive the vote before white women. In response, African-American suffragist
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (September 24, 1825 – February 22, 1911) was an American Abolitionism in the United States, abolitionist, suffragist, poet, teacher, public speaker, and writer. Beginning in 1845, she was one of the first African-Ameri ...
and others joined the
American Woman Suffrage Association The American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) was a Single-issue politics, single-issue national organization formed in Boston in 1869. The AWSA lobbied state governments to enact laws granting or expanding women's right to vote in the United Sta ...
, which supported suffrage for women and for black men. Mary Ann Shadd Cary, the second African-American woman to receive a degree from Howard University Law School, joined the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1878 when she delivered their convention's keynote address. Tensions between African-American and white suffragists persisted, even after the NWSA and AWSA merged to form the
National American Woman Suffrage Association The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was an organization formed on February 18, 1890, to advocate in favor of women's suffrage in the United States. It was created by the merger of two existing organizations, the National ...

National American Woman Suffrage Association
in 1890. By the early 1900s, white suffragists often adopted strategies designed to appease the Southern states at the expense of African-American women. At conventions in 1901 and 1903, in Atlanta and New Orleans, NAWSA prevented African Americans from attending. At the 1911 national NAWSA conference, Martha Gruening asked the organization to formally denounce white supremacy. NAWSA president
Anna Howard Shaw Anna Howard Shaw (February 14, 1847 – July 2, 1919) was a leader of the women's suffrage movement in the United States. She was also a physician and one of the first ordained female Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement ...

Anna Howard Shaw
refused, saying she was "in favor of colored people voting", but did not want to alienate others in the suffrage movement. Even NAWSA's more radical Congressional Committee, which would become the
National Woman's Party The National Woman's Party (NWP) was an American women's political organization formed in 1916 to fight for women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the wo ...
, failed African-American women, most visibly by refusing to allow them to march in the nation's first suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. While the NAWSA directed Paul not to exclude African-American participants, 72 hours before the parade African-American women were directed to the back of the parade;
Ida B. Wells Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931) was an American investigative journalist, educator, and early leader in the Civil rights movement (1896–1954), civil rights movement. She was one of the founders of the National Associ ...

Ida B. Wells
defied these instructions and joined the Illinois unit, prompting telegrams of support. , a leader in both the NACW and
NAACP The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are law, legal, social, or ethics, ethical principles of Liberty, freedom or entitlement ...
, and
Nannie Helen Burroughs Nannie Helen Burroughs (May 2, 1879 – May 20, 1961) was a black educator, orator, religious leader, civil rights activist, feminist, and businesswoman in the United States. Her speech "How the Sisters Are Hindered from Helping," at the 1900 ...

Nannie Helen Burroughs
, an educator and activist, contributed to an issue of the ''Crisis'', published by
W. E. B. Du Bois William Edward Burghardt Du Bois ( ; February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American sociologist, socialist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du Boi ...
in August 1915. They wrote passionately about African-American women's need for the vote. Burroughs, asked what women could do with the ballot, responded pointedly: "What can she do without it?"


Proposal and ratification


A new focus on a federal amendment

In 1900,
Carrie Chapman Catt Carrie Chapman Catt (January 9, 1859 Fowler, p. 3 – March 9, 1947) was an American women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the work being done by women ...

Carrie Chapman Catt
succeeded Susan B. Anthony as the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Catt revitalized NAWSA, turning the focus of the organization to the passage of the federal amendment while simultaneously supporting women who wanted to pressure their states to pass suffrage legislation. The strategy, which she later called "The Winning Plan", had several goals: women in states that had already granted presidential suffrage (the right to vote for the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a chief executive officer ...

President
) would focus on passing a federal suffrage amendment; women who believed they could influence their state legislatures would focus on amending their state constitutions and Southern states would focus on gaining primary suffrage (the right to vote in state primaries). Simultaneously, the NAWSA worked to elect congressmen who supported suffrage for women. By 1915, NAWSA was a large, powerful organization, with 44 state chapters and more than two million members. In a break with NAWSA,
Alice Paul Alice Stokes Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977) was an American Quaker, suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, and one of the main leaders and strategists of the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constit ...

Alice Paul
and
Lucy Burns Lucy Burns (July 28, 1879 – December 22, 1966) was an American suffragist and women's rights advocate.Bland, 1981 (p. 8) She was a passionate activist in the United States and in the United Kingdom, joined the militant suffragettes. Burns was ...
founded the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage in 1913 to pressure the federal government to take legislative action. One of their first acts was to organize a women's suffrage parade in
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
on March 3, 1913, the day before
Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of gove ...

Woodrow Wilson
's inauguration. The procession of more than 5,000 participants, the first of its kind, attracted a crowd of an estimated 500,000, as well as national media attention, but Wilson took no immediate action. In March 1917, the Congressional Union joined with Women's Party of Western Voters to form the
National Woman's Party The National Woman's Party (NWP) was an American women's political organization formed in 1916 to fight for women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the wo ...
(NWP), whose aggressive tactics included staging more radical acts of civil disobedience and controversial demonstrations to draw more attention to the women's suffrage issue.


Woman suffrage and World War I patriotism

When
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
started in 1914, women in eight states had already won the right to vote, but support for a federal amendment was still tepid. The war provided a new urgency to the fight for the vote. When the U.S. entered World War I, Catt made the controversial decision to support the war effort, despite the widespread pacifist sentiment of many of her colleagues and supporters. As women joined the labor force to replace men serving in the military and took visible positions as nurses, relief workers, and ambulance drivers to support the war effort, NAWSA organizers argued that women's sacrifices made them deserving of the vote. By contrast, the NWP used the war to point out the contradictions of fighting for democracy abroad while restricting it at home. In 1917, the NWP began picketing the White House to bring attention to the cause of women's suffrage. In 1914 the constitutional amendment proposed by Sargent, which was nicknamed the "Susan B. Anthony Amendment", was once again considered by the Senate, where it was again rejected. In April 1917 the "Anthony Amendment", which eventually became the Nineteenth Amendment, was reintroduced in the House and Senate. Picketing NWP members, nicknamed the "
Silent Sentinels The Silent Sentinels, also known as the Sentinels of Liberty, were a group of women in favor of women's suffrage organized by Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party. They protested in front of the White House during Woodrow Wilson's presidency ...
", continued their protests on the sidewalks outside the White House. On July 4, 1917, police arrested 168 of the protesters, who were sent to prison in Lorton, Virginia. Some of these women, including Lucy Burns and Alice Paul, went on hunger strikes; some were force-fed while others were otherwise harshly treated by prison guards. The release of the women a few months later was largely due to increasing public pressure.


Final congressional challenges

In 1918, President Wilson faced a difficult midterm election and would have to confront the issue of women's suffrage directly. Fifteen states had extended equal voting rights to women and, by this time, the President fully supported the federal amendment. Christine Stansell. ''The Feminist Promise''. New York: The Modern Library, 2011, pp. 171–174. A proposal brought before the House in January 1918 passed by only one vote. The vote was then carried into the Senate where Wilson made an appeal on the Senate floor, an unprecedented action at the time. In a short speech, the President tied women's right to vote directly to the war, asking, "Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of privilege and right?" On September 30, 1918, the proposal fell two votes short of passage, prompting the NWP to direct campaigning against senators who had voted against the amendment. Between January 1918 and June 1919, the House and Senate voted on the federal amendment five times. Each vote was extremely close and
Southern Democrats ''This page is about members of the Democratic Party from the historical South, for the short lived segregationist third party that was founded and dissolved in 1948, see States Rights Democratic Party.'' Southern Democrats are members of the U.S ...
continued to oppose giving women the vote. Suffragists pressured President Wilson to call a special session of Congress and he agreed to schedule one for May 19, 1919. On May 21, 1919, the amendment passed the House 304 to 89, with 42 votes more than was necessary. On June 4, 1919, it was brought before the Senate and, after Southern Democrats abandoned a
filibuster A filibuster is a political procedure where one or more members of a Congress or Parliament debate over a proposed piece of legislation so as to delay a decision being made on the proposal or entirely prevent such a decision from occurring. It is ...
, 36 Republican Senators were joined by 20 Democrats to pass the amendment with 56 yeas, 25 nays, and 14 not voting. The final vote tally was: * 20 Democrats Yea * 17 Democrats Nay *  9 Democrats Not voting/abstained * 36 Republicans Yea *  8 Republicans Nay *  5 Republicans Not voting/abstained


Ratification

Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul immediately mobilized members of the NAWSA and NWP to pressure states to ratify the amendment. Within a few days, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan did so, their legislatures being in session. It is arguable which State was considered first to ratify the amendment. While Illinois's legislature passed the legislation an hour prior to Wisconsin, Wisconsin's delegate, David James, arrived earlier and was presented with a statement establishing Wisconsin as the first to ratify. By August 2, fourteen states had approved ratification, and by the end of 1919 twenty-two had ratified the amendment. In other states support proved more difficult to secure. Much of the opposition to the amendment came from Southern Democrats; only two former Confederate states (
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
and
Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegihan languages, Dhegiha Siouan la ...

Arkansas
) and three border states voted for ratification, with
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
and
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Burea ...
not doing so until 1920.
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama (state song), Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat ...

Alabama
and
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
were the first states to defeat ratification. The governor of
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...

Louisiana
worked to organize 13 states to resist ratifying the amendment. The
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
legislature refused to ratify the amendment and attempted to prevent other states from doing so. Carrie Catt began appealing to Western governors, encouraging them to act swiftly. By the end of 1919, a total of 22 states had ratified the amendment. Resistance to ratification took many forms:
anti-suffragists Anti-suffragism was a political movement composed of both men and women that began in the late 19th century in order to campaign against women's suffrage, women's suffrage in countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the ...
continued to say the amendment would never be approved by the November 1920 elections and that special sessions were a waste of time and effort. Other opponents to ratification filed lawsuits requiring the federal amendment to be approved by state referendums. By June 1920, after intense lobbying by both the NAWSA and the NWP, the amendment was ratified by 35 of the necessary 36 state legislatures. Ratification would be determined by
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The S ...

Tennessee
. In the middle of July 1919, both opponents and supporters of the Anthony Amendment arrived in Nashville to lobby the General Assembly. Carrie Catt, representing the NAWSA, worked with state suffragist leaders, including
Anne Dallas Dudley Anne Dallas Dudley (''née'' Annie Willis Dallas; November 13, 1876 – September 13, 1955) was a prominent activist in the Women's suffrage in the United States, women's suffrage movement in the United States. After founding the Nashville Equal ...

Anne Dallas Dudley
and
Abby Crawford Milton Abby Crawford Milton (6 February 1881 – 2 May 1991) was an American suffragist. She was the last president of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association. She traveled throughout Tennessee making speeches and organizing suffrage leagues in small co ...

Abby Crawford Milton
.
Sue Shelton White Sue Shelton White (May 25, 1887 – May 6, 1943), called Miss Sue, was a feminism, feminist leader originally from Henderson, Tennessee, Henderson, Tennessee, who served as a national leader of the women's suffrage movement, member of the Sil ...
, a Tennessee native who had participated in protests at the White House and toured with the Prison Special, represented the NWP. Opposing them were the "Antis", in particular, Josephine Pearson, state president of the Southern Women's Rejection League of the Susan. B. Anthony Amendment, who had served as dean and chair of philosophy at Christian College in Columbia. Pearson was assisted by Anne Ector Pleasant, Anne Pleasant, president of the Louisiana Women's Rejection League and the wife of a former Louisiana governor. Especially in the South, the question of women's suffrage was closely tied to issues of race. While both white and black women worked toward women's suffrage, some white suffragists tried to appease southern states by arguing that votes for women could counter the black vote, strengthening white supremacy. For the anti-suffragists in the south (the "Antis"), the federal amendment was viewed as a "Force Bill", one that Congress could use to enforce voting provisions not only for women, but for African-American men who were still effectively disenfranchised even after passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Carrie Catt warned suffrage leaders in Tennessee that the "Anti-Suffs" would rely on "lies, innuendoes, and near truths", raising the issue of race as a powerful factor in their arguments. Prior to the start of the General Assembly session on August 9, both supporters and opponents had lobbied members of the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives. Though the Democratic governor of Tennessee, Albert H. Roberts, supported ratification, most lawmakers were still undecided. Anti-suffragists targeted members, meeting their trains as they arrived in Nashville to make their case. When the General Assembly convened on August 9, both supporters and opponents set up stations outside of chambers, handing out yellow roses to suffrage supporters and red roses to the "Antis". On August 12, the legislature held hearings on the suffrage proposal; the next day the Senate voted 24–5 in favor of ratification. As the House prepared to take up the issue of ratification on August 18, lobbying intensified. House Speaker Seth M. Walker attempted to table the ratification resolution, but was defeated twice with a vote of 48–48. The vote on the resolution would be close. Representative Harry T. Burn, Harry Burn, a Republican, had voted to table the resolution both times. When the vote was held again, Burn voted yes. The 24-year-old said he supported women's suffrage as a "moral right", but had voted against it because he believed his constituents opposed it. In the final minutes before the vote, he received a note from his mother, urging him to vote yes. Rumors immediately circulated that Burn and other lawmakers had been bribed, but newspaper reporters found no evidence of this. The same day ratification passed in the General Assembly, Speaker Walker filed a motion to reconsider. When it became clear he did not have enough votes to carry the motion, representatives opposing suffrage boarded a train, fleeing Nashville for Decatur, Alabama to block the House from taking action on the reconsideration motion by preventing a quorum. Thirty-seven legislators fled to Decatur, issuing a statement that ratifying the amendment would violate their oath to defend the state constitution. The ploy failed. Speaker Walker was unable to muster any additional votes in the allotted time. When the House reconvened to take the final procedural steps that would reaffirm ratification, Tennessee suffragists seized an opportunity to taunt the missing Anti delegates by sitting at their empty desks. When ratification was finally confirmed, a suffragist on the floor of the House rang a miniature Liberty Bell. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee narrowly approved the Nineteenth Amendment, with 50 of 99 members of the Tennessee House of Representatives voting yes.. This provided the final ratification necessary to add the amendment to the Constitution,. making the United States the twenty-seventh country in the world to give women the right to vote. Upon signing the ratification certificate, the Governor of Tennessee sent it by registered mail to the U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, whose office received it at 4:00 a.m. on August 26, 1920. Once certified as correct, Colby signed the Proclamation of the Women's Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in the presence of his secretary only.


Ratification timeline

Congress proposed the Nineteenth Amendment on June 4, 1919, and the following states ratified the amendment. # Illinois: June 10, 1919 # Wisconsin: June 10, 1919 # Michigan: June 10, 1919 #
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebraska to the north; ...

Kansas
: June 16, 1919 # Ohio: June 16, 1919 #
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
: June 16, 1919) # Pennsylvania: June 24, 1919 # Massachusetts: June 25, 1919 #
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
: June 28, 1919 # Iowa: July 2, 1919 # Missouri: July 3, 1919 #
Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegihan languages, Dhegiha Siouan la ...

Arkansas
: July 28, 1919 #
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
: July 30, 1919; August 2, 1919 # Nebraska: August 2, 1919 # Minnesota: September 8, 1919 # New Hampshire: September 10, 1919 #
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...

Utah
: September 30, 1919 #
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
: November 1, 1919 # Maine: November 5, 1919 # North Dakota: December 1, 1919 # South Dakota: December 4, 1919 #
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain West The Mountain West Conference (MW) is one of the collegiate athletic conferences affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association The National Collegiate Athletic ...

Colorado
: December 12, 1919; December 15, 1919 # Rhode Island: January 6, 1920 at 1:00 p.m. #
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
: January 6, 1920 at 4:00 p.m. #
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of it ...

Oregon
: January 12, 1920 # Indiana: January 16, 1920 #
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
: January 26, 1920 #
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Nevada
: February 7, 1920 #
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
: February 9, 1920 # Idaho: February 11, 1920 #
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a U.S. state, state in the Southwestern United States, Southwestern region of the United States. It is also usually considered part of the Mountain States, Mountain states. It is th ...

Arizona
: February 12, 1920 # New Mexico: February 16, 1920 # Oklahoma: February 23, 1920 #
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Burea ...
: March 10, 1920, confirmed on September 21, 1920 #
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state) Washington (), officially the State of Washington, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. ...
: March 22, 1920 #
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The S ...

Tennessee
: August 18, 1920 The ratification process required 36 states, and completed with the approval by Tennessee. Though not necessary for adoption, the following states subsequently ratified the amendment. Some states did not call a legislative session to hold a vote until later, others rejected it when it was proposed and then reversed their decisions years later, with the last taking place in 1984. With Mississippi's ratification in 1984, the amendment was now ratified by all states existing at the time of its adoption in 1920.


Legal challenges

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the amendment's validity in '' Leser v. Garnett''.. Maryland citizens Mary D. Randolph, "'a colored female citizen' of 331 West Biddle Street", and Cecilia Street Waters, "a white woman, of 824 North Eutaw Street", applied for and were granted registration as qualified Baltimore voters on October 12, 1920. To have their names removed from the list of qualified voters, Oscar Leser and others brought suit against the two women on the sole grounds that they were women, arguing that they were not eligible to vote because the Constitution of Maryland limited suffrage to men and the Maryland legislature had refused to vote to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. Two months before, on August 26, 1920, the federal government had proclaimed the amendment incorporated into the Constitution. Leser said the amendment "destroyed State autonomy" because it increased Maryland's electorate without the state's consent. The Supreme Court answered that the Nineteenth Amendment had similar wording to the Fifteenth Amendment, which had expanded state electorates without regard to race for more than fifty years by that time despite rejection by six states (including Maryland). Leser further argued that the state constitutions in some ratifying states did not allow their legislatures to ratify. The Court replied that state ratification was a federal function granted under Article Five of the United States Constitution#Ratification of amendments, Article V of the U.S. Constitution and not subject to a state constitution's limitations. Finally, those bringing suit asserted the Nineteenth Amendment was not adopted because Tennessee and West Virginia violated their own rules of procedure. The Court ruled that the point was moot because Connecticut and Vermont had subsequently ratified the amendment, providing a sufficient number of state ratifications to adopt the Nineteenth Amendment even without Tennessee and West Virginia. The Court also ruled that Tennessee's and West Virginia's certifications of their state ratifications was binding and had been duly authenticated by their respective Secretary of state (U.S. state government), Secretaries of State. As a result of the Court's ruling, Randolph and Waters were permitted to become registered voters in Baltimore. Another challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment's adoption was dismissed by the Supreme Court in '' Fairchild v. Hughes'', because the party bringing the suit, Charles S. Fairchild, came from a state that already allowed women to vote and so Fairchild lacked Standing (law), standing.


Effects


Women's voting behavior

Adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment enfranchised 26 million American women in time for the 1920 U.S. presidential election. Many legislators feared that a powerful women's Voting bloc, bloc would emerge in American politics. This fear led to the passage of such laws as the Sheppard–Towner Act, Sheppard–Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act of 1921, which expanded maternity care during the 1920s.. Newly enfranchised women and women's groups prioritized a reform agenda rather than party loyalty and their first goal was the Sheppard-Towner Act. It was the first federal social security law and made a dramatic difference before it was allowed to lapse in 1929. Other efforts at the federal level in the early 1920s that related to women labor and women's citizenship rights included the establishment of a United States Women's Bureau, Women's Bureau in the United States Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor in 1920 and passage of the Cable Act in 1922. After the 1924 United States presidential election, U.S. presidential election in 1924, politicians realized the women's bloc they had feared did not actually exist and they did not need to cater to what they considered as "women's issues" after all. The eventual appearance of an American women's voting bloc has been tracked to various dates, depending on the source, from the 1950s. to 1970. Around 1980, a nationwide Voting gender gap in the United States, gender gap in voting had emerged, with women usually favoring the Democratic candidate in presidential elections. According to political scientists J. Kevin Corder and Christina Wolbrecht, few women turned out to vote in the first national elections after the Nineteenth Amendment gave them the right to do so. In 1920, 36 percent of eligible women voted (compared with 68 percent of men). The low turnout among women was partly due to other barriers to voting, such as literacy tests, long residency requirements, and poll taxes. Inexperience with voting and persistent beliefs that voting was inappropriate for women may also have kept turnout low. The participation gap was lowest between men and women in swing states at the time, in states that had closer races such as Missouri and Kentucky, and where barriers to voting were lower. By 1960, women were turning out to vote in presidential elections in greater numbers than men and a trend of higher female voting engagement has continued into 2018.


Limitations


African-American women

African-Americans had gained the right to vote, but for 75 percent of them it was granted in name only, as state constitutions kept them from exercising that right. Prior to the passage of the amendment, Southern politicians held firm in their convictions not to allow African-American women to vote. They had to fight to secure not only their own right to vote, but the right of African-American men as well. Three million women south of the Mason–Dixon line remained disfranchised after the passage of the amendment. Election officials regularly obstructed access to the ballot box. As newly enfranchised African-American women attempted to register, officials increased the use of methods that Brent Staples, in an opinion piece for ''The New York Times'', described as fraud, intimidation, poll taxes, and state violence. In 1926, a group of women attempting to register in Birmingham, Alabama were beaten by officials. Incidents such as this, threats of violence and job losses, and legalized prejudicial practices blocked women of color from voting. These practices continued until the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Twenty-fourth Amendment was adopted in 1962, whereby the states were prohibited from making voting conditional on poll or other taxes, paving the way to more reforms with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. African-Americans continued to face barriers preventing them from exercising their vote until the civil rights movement arose in the 1950s and 1960s, which posited voting rights as civil rights. Nearly a thousand civil rights workers converged on the South to support voting rights as part of Freedom Summer, and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches brought further participation and support. However, state officials continued to refuse registration until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting. For the first time, states were forbidden from imposing discriminatory restrictions on voting eligibility, and mechanisms were placed allowing the federal government to enforce its provisions.


Other minority groups

Native Americans were granted citizenship by an Act of Congress in 1924, but state policies prohibited them from voting. In 1948, a suit brought by World War II veteran Miguel Trujillo resulted in Native Americans gaining the right to vote in New Mexico and Arizona, but some states continued to bar them from voting until 1957. Poll taxes and literacy tests kept Latina women from voting. In Puerto Rico, for example, women did not receive the right to vote until 1929, but was limited to literate women until 1935. Further, the 1975 extensions of the Voting Rights Act included requiring bilingual ballots and voting materials in certain regions, making it easier for Latina women to vote. National immigration laws prevented Asians from gaining citizenship until 1952.


Other limitations

After adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, women still faced political limitations. Women had to lobby their state legislators, bring lawsuits, and engage in letter-writing campaigns to earn the right to sit on Women in United States juries, juries. In California, women won the right to serve on juries four years after passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. In Colorado, it took 33 years. Women continue to face obstacles when running for elective offices, and the Equal Rights Amendment, which would grant women equal rights under the law, has yet to be passed.


Legacy


League of Women Voters

In 1920, about six months before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, Emma Smith DeVoe and Carrie Chapman Catt agreed to merge the
National American Woman Suffrage Association The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was an organization formed on February 18, 1890, to advocate in favor of women's suffrage in the United States. It was created by the merger of two existing organizations, the National ...

National American Woman Suffrage Association
and the League of Women Voters, National Council of Women Voters to help newly enfranchised women exercise their responsibilities as voters. Originally only women could join the league, but in 1973 the charter was modified to include men. Today, the League of Women Voters operates at the local, state, and national level, with over 1,000 local and 50 state leagues, and one territory league in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some critics and historians question whether creating an organization dedicated to political education rather than political action made sense in the first few years after ratification, suggesting that the League of Women Voters diverted the energy of activists.


Equal Rights Amendment

Alice Paul Alice Stokes Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977) was an American Quaker, suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, and one of the main leaders and strategists of the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constit ...

Alice Paul
and the NWP did not believe the Nineteenth Amendment would be enough to ensure men and women were treated equally, and in 1921 the NWP announced plans to campaign for another amendment which would guarantee equal rights not limited to voting. The first draft of the
Equal Rights Amendment The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) isCongress set a deadline for the ERA's ratification, which was extended, and has long since expired, but it is an open question whether the deadline has legal force. a proposed amendment to the United States C ...
, written by Paul and Crystal Eastman and first named "the
Lucretia Mott Lucretia Mott (''née'' Coffin A coffin is a Funeral, funerary box used for viewing or keeping a corpse, either for burial or cremation. The word took two different paths. Old French ''cofin'', originally meaning ''basket'', became ''coffi ...

Lucretia Mott
Amendment", stated: "No political, civil, or legal disabilities or inequalities on account of sex or on account of marriage, unless applying equally to both sexes, shall exist within the United States or any territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof." Senator Charles Curtis brought it to Congress that year, but it did not make it to the floor for a vote. It was introduced in every congressional session from 1921 to 1971, usually not making it out of committee. The amendment did not have the full support of women's rights activists, and was opposed by Carrie Catt and the League of Women Voters. Whereas the NWP believed in total equality, even if that meant sacrificing benefits given to women through protective legislation, some groups like the Women's Joint Congressional Committee and the Women's Bureau believed the loss of benefits relating to safety regulations, working conditions, lunch breaks, maternity provisions, and other labor protections would outweigh what would be gained. Labor leaders like Alice Hamilton and Mary Anderson (labor leader), Mary Anderson argued that it would set their efforts back and make sacrifices of what progress they had made. In response to these concerns, a provision known as "the Hayden rider" was added to the ERA to retain special labor protections for women, and passed the Senate in 1950 and 1953, but failed in the House. In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower, Eisenhower called on Congress to pass the amendment, but the Hayden rider was controversial, meeting with opposition from the NWP and others who felt it undermined its original purpose. The growing, productive women's movements of the 1960s and 1970s renewed support for the amendment. U.S. Representative Martha Griffiths of Michigan reintroduced it in 1971, leading to its approval by the House of Representatives that year. After it passed in the Senate on March 22, 1972, it went to state legislatures for ratification. Congress originally set a deadline of March 22, 1979, by which point at least 38 states needed to ratify the amendment. It reached 35 by 1977, with broad bipartisan support including both major political parties and Presidents Richard Nixon, Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ford, and Jimmy Carter, Carter. However, when Phyllis Schlafly mobilized conservative women in opposition, four states rescinded their ratification, although whether a state may do so is disputed. The amendment did not reach the necessary 38 states by the deadline. President Carter signed a controversial extension of the deadline to 1982, but that time saw no additional ratifications. In the 1990s, ERA supporters resumed efforts for ratification, arguing that the pre-deadline ratifications still applied, that the deadline itself can be lifted, and that only three states were needed. Whether the amendment is still before the states for ratification remains disputed, but in 2014 both Virginia and Illinois state senates voted to ratify, although both were blocked in the house chambers. In 2017, 45 years after the amendment was originally submitted to states, the Nevada legislature became the first to ratify it following expiration of the deadlines. Illinois lawmakers followed in 2018. Another attempt in Virginia passed the Assembly but was defeated on the state senate floor by one vote. The most recent effort to remove the deadline was in early 2019, with proposed legislation from Jackie Speier, accumulating 188 co-sponsors and pending in Congress .


Commemorations

A -ton marble slab from a Carrara, Carrara, Italy, quarry carved into statue called the "Portrait Monument" (originally known as the "Woman's Movement") by sculptor Adelaide Johnson was unveiled at the United States Capitol rotunda, Capitol rotunda on February 15, 1921, six months after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, on the 101st anniversary of 's birth, and during the
National Woman's Party The National Woman's Party (NWP) was an American women's political organization formed in 1916 to fight for women's suffrage Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the mid-19th century, aside from the wo ...
's first post-ratification national convention in Washington, D.C. The Party presented it as a gift "from the women of the U.S." The monument is installed in the Capitol rotunda and features busts of Susan B. Anthony,
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American writer and activist who was a leader of the women's rights movement in the U.S. during the mid- to late-1800s. She was the main force behind the 1848 Seneca Falls C ...

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
and
Lucretia Mott Lucretia Mott (''née'' Coffin A coffin is a Funeral, funerary box used for viewing or keeping a corpse, either for burial or cremation. The word took two different paths. Old French ''cofin'', originally meaning ''basket'', became ''coffi ...

Lucretia Mott
. More than fifty women's groups with delegates from every state were represented at the dedication ceremony in 1921 that was presided over by Jane Addams. After the ceremony, the statue was moved temporarily to the United States Capitol crypt, Capitol crypt, where it stood for less than a month until Johnson discovered that an inscription stenciled in gold lettering on the back of the monument had been removed. The inscription read, in part: "Woman, first denied a soul, then called mindless, now arisen declares herself an entity to be reckoned. Spiritually, the woman movement... represents the emancipation of womanhood. The release of the feminine principal in humanity, the moral integration of human evolution come to rescue torn and struggling humanity from its savage self." Congress denied passage of several bills to move the statue, whose place in the crypt also held brooms and mops. In 1963, the crypt was cleaned for an exhibition of several statues including this one, which had been dubbed "The Women in the Bathtub". In 1995 on the 75th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, women's groups renewed congressional interest in the monument and on May 14, 1997, the statue was finally returned to the rotunda. On August 26, 2016, a monument commemorating Tennessee's role in providing the required 36th state ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment was unveiled in Centennial Park (Nashville), Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee. The memorial, erected by the Tennessee Suffrage Monument, Inc. and created by Alan LeQuire, features likenesses of suffragists who were particularly involved in securing Tennessee's ratification: Carrie Chapman Catt;
Anne Dallas Dudley Anne Dallas Dudley (''née'' Annie Willis Dallas; November 13, 1876 – September 13, 1955) was a prominent activist in the Women's suffrage in the United States, women's suffrage movement in the United States. After founding the Nashville Equal ...

Anne Dallas Dudley
; Abby Crawford Milton; Juno Frankie Pierce; and Sue Shelton White. In June 2018, the city of Knoxville, Tennessee, unveiled another sculpture by LeQuire, this one depicting 24-year-old freshman state representative Harry T. Burn and his mother. Representative Burn, at the urging of his mother, cast the deciding vote on August 18, 1920, making Tennessee the final state needed for the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. In 2018, Utah launched a campaign called Better Days 2020 to "popularize Utah women's history". One of its first projects was the unveiling on the Salt Lake City capitol steps of the design for a license plate in recognition of women's suffrage. The commemorative license plate would be available for new or existing car registrations in the state. The year 2020 marks the centennial of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as well as the 150th anniversary of the first women voting in Utah, which was the first state in the nation where women cast a ballot. An annual celebration of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, known as Women's Equality Day, began on August 26, 1973. There usually is heightened attention and news media coverage during momentous anniversaries such as the 75th (1995) and 100th (2020), as well as in 2016 because of the presidential election. For the amendment's centennial, several organizations announced large events or exhibits, including the National Constitution Center and National Archives and Records Administration. On the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, President Donald Trump posthumously pardoned .


Popular culture

The Nineteenth Amendment has been featured in a number of songs, films, and television programs. The 1976 song "Sufferin' Till Suffrage" from ''Schoolhouse Rock!'', performed by Essra Mohawk and written by Bob Dorough and Tom Yohe, states, in part, "Not a woman here could vote, no matter what age, Then the Nineteenth Amendment struck down that restrictive rule... Yes the Nineteenth Amendment Struck down that restrictive rule." In 2018, various recording artists released an album called ''27: The Most Perfect Album'', featuring songs inspired by the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution; Dolly Parton's song inspired by the Nineteenth Amendment is called "A Woman's Right". ''One Woman, One Vote'' is a 1995 PBS documentary narrated by actor Susan Sarandon chronicling the Seneca Falls Convention through the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. Another documentary was released in 1999 by filmmaker Ken Burns, ''Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony''. It used archival footage and commentary by actors Ann Dowd, Julie Harris (actress), Julie Harris, Sally Kellerman and Amy Madigan. In 2013, John Green (author), John Green, the best-selling author of ''The Fault in Our Stars'', produced a video entitled ''Women in the 19th Century: Crash Course US History #31'', providing an overview of the women's movement leading to the Nineteenth Amendment. The 2004 drama ''Iron Jawed Angels'' depicting suffragists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, played by actors Hilary Swank and Frances O'Connor, respectively, as they help secure the Nineteenth Amendment. In August 2018, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Academy Award-winning director/producer Steven Spielberg announced plans to make a television series based on Elaine Weiss's best-selling book, ''The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote''.


See also

*Feminism in the United States *History of feminism *List of female United States presidential and vice-presidential candidates *List of suffragists and suffragettes *List of women's rights activists *Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 (United Kingdom) *Timeline of women's suffrage *Women's Equality Day


Explanatory notes


References


Citations


Bibliography

* * * * *DuBois, Ellen Carol, et al. "Interchange: Women's Suffrage, the Nineteenth Amendment, and the Right to Vote". ''Journal of American History'' 106.3 (2019): 662–694. * *Gidlow, Liette. "The Sequel: The Fifteenth Amendment, the Nineteenth Amendment, and Southern Black Women's Struggle to Vote". ''Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era'' 17.3 (2018): 433–449. * *Hasen, Richard L., and Leah Litman. "Thin and Thick Conceptions of the Nineteenth Amendment Right to Vote and Congress's Power to Enforce It". ''Georgetown Law Journal'' (2020): 2019–63
online
*McCammon, Holly J., and Lee Ann Banaszak, eds. ''100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment: An Appraisal of Women's Political Activism'' (Oxford UP, 2018). * * *Teele, Dawn Langan. ''Forging the Franchise: The Political Origins of the Women's Vote'' (2018
Online review
* * *


External links



from the Library of Congress
Our Documents: Nineteenth AmendmentWoman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment
from the National Archives {{DEFAULTSORT:19 1920 in American law, Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution 1920 in American politics Amendments to the United States Constitution Articles containing video clips History of voting rights in the United States History of women's rights in the United States Presidency of Woodrow Wilson, Nineteenth Amendment Progressive Era in the United States Women's suffrage in the United States