August 18: Nineteenth Amendment

On this day in 1920, Tennessee narrowly ratified the Nineteenth Amendment thereby adding women’s suffrage to the U.S. Constitution. The Nineteenth Amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator Aaron A. Sargent (R-CA). It was identical to the Fifteenth Amendment, except that the Nineteenth prohibits the denial of suffrage because of sex and the Fifteenth because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Forty-one years later, it was finally approved by Congress and submitted to the states for ratification.

Nineteenth Amendment Banner

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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.

Women Suffrage Map

A map of the United States showing the progression of suffrage prior to the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution, ratified on August 18, 1920. From the Maps ETC website.

Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States To Vote?

Susan B. Anthony discusses her arrest for attempting to vote.
Lit2Go Duration: 1 hour 8 minutes.

PDF of Is It a Crime?

31-page PDF of Is It a Crime for a Citizen of the United States To Vote? Reading level: 13.6. Word count: 10,497.

"Solitude of Self," Address before the U.S. Senate Committee on Women's Suffrage, February 20, 1892

Elizabeth Cady Stanton addresses the U.S. Senate Committee on Women’s Suffrage in February of 1892. Lit2Go Duration: 29 minutes.

Suffragettes

Four of the most important leaders of the Suffrage movement did not live to see the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) was an American suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women’s rights movement. Illustration from the ClipArt ETC website.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan Brownell Anthony (1820–1906) was an American social reformer and women’s rights activist who played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement. Illustration from the ClipArt ETC website.

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Howe (1819-1910) was an abolitionist and poet. She is famous for the Battle Hymn of the Republic and for proclaiming Mother’s Day in 1870. Mrs. Howe also focused her energy on women’s suffrage. Illustration from the ClipArt ETC website.

Frances Elizabeth Willard

Frances Willard (1839-1898) was an American temperance reformer and women’s suffragist. President of the National Woman’s Temperance Union and of the World’s Woman’s Temperance Union. Illustration from the ClipArt ETC website.

Political Cartoons

Political cartoons capture some of the attitudes around the Suffrage movement.

Ballot and Map

A map of the western half of the United States. The states are labeled for what year they granted women the right to vote. Cartoon from the ClipArt ETC website.

Election Day Nurseries

When women vote–the problem solved.” Satirical cartoon from the ClipArt ETC website.

The Attraction

The attraction. Meeting will be addressed by a good looking suffragette by order of committee. Busy Bill–Maybe I don’t know politics, but I knows human nature in the cow country. The sign fetched ’em!” Cartoon from the ClipArt ETC website.

The Ostrich-Minded Voter

Cartoon comparing those who think woman suffrage is a fad to an ostrich with its head in the sand. Illustration from the ClipArt ETC website.

Swan Song

Swan song of the claym that, “Nobody wants woman suffrage.” Cartoon from the ClipArt ETC website.

One Ounce of Fact

One ounce of fact is worth a ton of theory.” Cartoon from the ClipArt ETC website.

Women's Suffrage Repeal

A nut she doesn’t try to crack. No equal suffrage state or country ever repealed its suffrage law.” Cartoon claiming the futility of anti-suffrage forces repealing suffrage law from the ClipArt ETC website.

Housecleaning Day

Cartoon of woman using ballot to clean up political corruption from the ClipArt ETC website.