| 19th Amendment
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.
Darcy, R. W., et al., Women, Elections, and Representation
(1987; repr. 1994).
Kraditor, A. S., The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement (1965;
Langley, W. E. , and Fox, V. C., eds., Women's Rights in America
Rogers, D. W., ed., Voting and the Spirit of American Democracy:
Essays on the History of Voting and Voting Rights in America
A group of women watching as Governor Edwin P. Morrow of Kentucky signs the 19th Amendment.
Photo: Library of Congress
Abolish: To put an end to.
Adoption: (1) To legally bring in one's family:
We adopted a baby. (2a) To accept: adopt a suggestion.
(2b) To approve officially: In 1920, the government
adopted the 19th Amendment.
Amendment: A legal change or addition to a law
or body of laws.
Citizen: A person who is loyal to a given country
and has the protection of that country.
Controversial: Producing an argument or debate.
Intertwine: To join by linking together.
Ratification: To approve and make valid.