The 19th Amendment Celebrates 90 Years

August 18th, 2010

19AmendmentIt may be hard to believe, but if you look back more than 90 years in American history women did not have the right to vote. That changed on August 18, 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was officially ratified.

American women had begun fighting for the right to vote several decades before this triumphant day finally arrived. It started with a movement known as women’s suffrage.


In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized a meeting in Seneca Falls, New York. Their goal was to promote women’s rights, with a primary focus on education and employment. During this meeting the attendees passed a resolution that declared women should have the right to vote. This position met with harsh criticism and opposition, but the suffragists were determined to spread their message of equal rights.

Within two years a national Woman’s Rights Convention was established as an annual event. This helped lead to the founding of the National Woman Suffrage Association by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Their goal was to amend the U.S. Constitution to give women the right to vote.

War Efforts

By the early 1900’s, the role of the American woman had changed drastically. Women were enjoying more educational and employment opportunities than ever before. These trends progressed even faster as the United States got involved in the First World War.

During the war, women worked in factories, hospitals and several key locations that were once reserved primarily for men. The working women helped further American war efforts in every way possible. Their determination and endurance helped dissipate any doubts as to whether or not they deserved the right to vote.

Woman Suffrage Amendment

In 1918, the House of Representatives approved the 19th Amendment. The following year it went to the Senate, and quickly passed. From there the proposed Amendment had to be ratified by two-thirds of the states.

Suffragists throughout the nation campaigned heavily in favor of the women’s suffrage movement. On August 18, 1920, the Amendment was ratified in Tennessee. It was the 36th state to do so; the Amendment officially passed.

What It Said

The 19th Amendment was a short, simple and concise. Though it only consisted of two declarations, the document contained a powerful message that rallied women and men alike to take a stand, work together and fight to give women the right to vote

The Amendment stated:

“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.”

Today we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Leave us a comment to share your thoughts on this monumental occasion, and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.

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