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H.J. Res. 1, proposing an amendment to the Constitution extending the right of suffrage to women, May 20, 1919

Introduced into every Congress beginning in 1878, a resolution for a constitutional amendment to enfranchise women was routinely rejected. But women’s contributions to the nation during World War I and a growing sense of democracy shifted public opinion. A resolution finally passed the House in 1918 and both chambers in 1919. The states ratified the amendment in 1920.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration

 H.J. Res. 1, proposing an amendment to the Constitution extending the right of suffrage to women, May 20, 1919

The Nineteenth Amendment

The movement to ensure federal voting rights for women began in the 1840s and culminated, after decades of struggle by generations of suffragists, with ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.  Eclipsed by the Civil War, the woman suffrage effort intensified after the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were interpreted to apply only to men. Supporters of woman suffrage pursued diverse strategies until Congress passed a resolution for a constitutional amendment in 1919 and the states ratified it the following year.

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.

Nineteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution