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Amendments To The US Constitution
19th Amendment of the US Constitution - Women's Right To Vote
By Congress
Oct 18, 2011, 11:03am

17th amendment

XIX Amendment to the Constitution

August 1995 marked the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution. The amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.

NARA (165-WW-600A-5)
Between 1878, when the amendment was first introduced in Congress, and August 18, 1920, when it was ratified, champions of voting rights for women worked tirelessly, but strategies for achieving their goal varied. Some pursued a strategy of passing suffrage acts in each state--nine western states adopted woman suffrage legislation by 1912. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Militant suffragists used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance. Opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them.

By 1916, however, almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. When New York adopted woman suffrage in 1917 and when President Woodrow Wilson changed his position to support an amendment in 1918, the political balance began to shift in favor of the vote for women. On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment, and 2 weeks later, the Senate followed. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining the agreement of three-fourths of the states. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920, and the face of the American electorate changed forever.

Source: NARA

Amendment XIX

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Source: LII - Cornell Law School

Quick Facts About the 19th Amendment

  • The 19th Amendment was first introduced in Congress in January of 1878.
  • The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920.
  • It took 52 years for the 19th Amendment to be ratified.
  • 36 states ratified the 19th Amendment to official make it part of our Constitution.
  • According to Ron Brown of WGEM News, the first woman to vote after the 19th Amendment was ratified was Mrs. Marie Ruoff Byrum of Missouri.

Lesson Plans on Women's Suffage - The Vote for Women

Women's Suffrage: Their Rights and Nothing Less
Lesson plans and student activities for Women's Suffage.
Source:Library of Congress

Suffrage Strategies: Voices for Votes
Lesson plans and student activities for Women's Suffage.
Source:Library of Congress

Lesson Plans - Women in Congress
This site includes lesson plans on the women pioneers who served on Capitol Hill from 1917 to 2006 as well as activities on photographs, objects, and quotations. Also included are a collection of fast facts on women’s congressional service, a link to an interactive map, and a list of online educational resources.
Source:U.S. Congress

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