CELEBRATING THE 19TH AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION
The 19th Amendment (1920) to the Constitution of the United States provides men and women with equal voting rights. The amendment states that the right of citizens to vote "shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Although this equality was implied in the 14th Amendment (1868), most of the states continued to restrict or prohibit women's suffrage.
The women's rights movements, which started as early as the 1830s and became intertwined with the struggle to abolish slavery, resulted in the proposal for the 19th Amendment, introduced in Congress in 1878.
This proposed amendment remained a controversial issue for over 40 years, during which the women's rights movement became strongly militant, conducting campaigns and demonstrations for congressional passage of the amendment and then for ratification by the states.
This political action, reinforced by the service of women in industry during World War I, resulted in the adoption of the amendment.
Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. The 19th 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.