To add it to the Constitution, 36 states had to approve the Amendment.
On this day in history, June 4, 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. A copy of the Amendment was then sent to the states for ratification.
The Amendment said, “The right to vote of United States citizens shall not be taken away or limited because of sex by the United States or by any State.”
According to the U.S. Senate’s page for the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote, the Amendment was approved by a vote of 56 to 25.
On May 21, the House of Representatives passed the amendment 304–89. Library of Congress webpage.
Thomas Marshall, Wilson’s vice president, signed the change.
Many people didn’t want women to be able to vote.
Artists drew political cartoons mocking suffragists. Church leaders opposed women in politics. “Articles were written that were mean to women who were involved in public life,” claims Crusadeforthevote.org.
Local anti-suffrage groups formed in the 1860s.
The site adds, “Massachusetts was home to some of the most important suffrage supporters, and it was also one of the first states to have an organized anti-suffrage group.”
After congressional approval of women’s right to vote, 36 states had to ratify the Amendment to add it to the Constitution.
The U.S. had 48 states then.
Three states promptly ratified the 19th Amendment.
The National Parks Service website reported that Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin ratified the 19th Amendment on June 10, a week after Congress passed it.
The National Parks Service states Illinois was the first state to vote for ratification, followed by Wisconsin, but an administrative error forced Illinois to re-vote the following week.
On June 10, Michigan’s state legislature unanimously ratified the 19th Amendment, making three states.
The 19th Amendment was ratified by Kansas, Ohio, and New York six days later, on June 16.
Later on June 10, the state assembly of Michigan passed the 19th Amendment unanimously, making it the third state to do so.
Six days later, on June 16, Kansas, Ohio, and New York were the following states to pass the 19th Amendment.
By the time 1920 rolled around, 22 of the 36 states needed to pass the Amendment had done so.
By the end of January, five more states had joined them, but South Carolina had “voted overwhelmingly” against the change.
The NPS says Washington became the 35th state to sign the Amendment on March 22, 1920.
During this time, the states of Virginia, Maryland, Mississippi, Delaware, and Louisiana all voted against approval.
Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the Amendment on August 18, 1920.
The 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution about a week later, on August 26, 1920, when Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed off on approval.
Even though the 19th Amendment was passed, it was still hard for women to vote.
The American Bar Association says that in Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina, most women could not vote in the 1920 election because the ratification happened after the limit for registering to vote.
Each U.S. state would eventually agree to the 19th Amendment.
The last state to do this was Mississippi, which did so in 1984.
Crusadeforthevote.org says that Jane Addams, a well-known suffragist, said, “I don’t think women are better than men.”
“We haven’t destroyed railroads, messed with the government, or done many other bad things that men have done, but we haven’t had the chance to.”