Category Archives: Uncategorized

90th Anniversary: Women Gain The Right To Vote by Gregory Hilton

It was 90 years ago today that the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified and women gained the right to vote. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment which says:
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 waited a long time for the right to vote, and Congress defeated several attempts to give them that power.
Women were crucial to industry during World War I, and President Woodrow Wilson defined the conflict as a war to save democracy. American women wanted to know why they were not part of that democracy.
In 1917 they began picketing the White House on a daily basis. Many of them were arrested, convicted and incarcerated at the Lorton Correctional Complex in northern Virginia. They were beaten by prison gardens and participated in a hunger strike.
In 1918 women waged vigorous campaigns to make sure the 19th amendment would be a major issue, and they had a substantial impact. Congress reversed course and passed the 19th amendment in early 1919.
It has often been noted that there is a significant gender gap in voting patterns. Republicans would have swept every presidential election since 1968 if the vote had been restricted to men.

Advertisements