U.S. Women’s Suffrage

Women's Suffrage Picket Parade

Women’s Suffrage Picket Parade

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920, giving American women the right to vote in all state and federal elections.

Background

Women’s suffrage in America was a divisive issue from the very beginning of the organized movement at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. Over the ensuing 72 years, while women gradually won the right to vote in some state and local elections, they continued to fight for full suffrage.

Eventually, the suffragists of the 19th century gave way to the “suffragettes” of the 20th century, with their more confrontational tactics, influenced by the militant women’s suffrage movement in Britain.

19th Amendment

What would become the 19th Amendment was first introduced to Congress in 1878, but it would take 41 years—and multiple rejections—for it to finally pass. After it was approved by Congress in 1919, it was sent to the states for ratification, where it would need to be approved by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.

Though women’s suffrage had always faced the biggest obstacles in southern states, Tennessee was the deciding 36th state to ratify the amendment by a slim margin on August 18, 1920.

Learn more about U.S. Women’s Suffrage through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about U.S. Women’s Suffrage

Letters from early women's rights leaders to a women's convention in Ohio, 1850Letters from early women's rights leaders to a women's convention in Ohio, 1850 Sat, Apr 27, 1850 – Page 3 · Anti-Slavery Bugle (Lisbon, Ohio) · Newspapers.comOpinion: Opinion: "...women, as they are, are not fit to vote" (1859) Fri, Mar 18, 1859 – Page 4 · The New York Times (New York, New York) · Newspapers.comMark Twain's satire about women's suffrage (1867)Mark Twain's satire about women's suffrage (1867) Fri, Mar 22, 1867 – Page 2 · The Weekly News-Democrat (Emporia, Kansas) · Newspapers.comSojourner Truth speaks at the Equal Rights Association in 1867Sojourner Truth speaks at the Equal Rights Association in 1867 Sat, May 25, 1867 – 1 · The Burlington Patriot (Burlington, Kansas) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from anti-suffrage editorial arguing women's place is in the home, not the voting boothExcerpt from anti-suffrage editorial arguing women's place is in the home, not the voting booth Sat, Nov 16, 1867 – Page 2 · Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comAnnouncement for the 3rd annual meeting of the Kansas equal suffrage association in 1887Announcement for the 3rd annual meeting of the Kansas equal suffrage association in 1887 Sat, Jan 1, 1887 – 1 · Weekly Interior Herald (Hutchinson, Kansas) · Newspapers.comInterview with Susan B. Anthony (1899)Interview with Susan B. Anthony (1899) Thu, Nov 16, 1899 – Page 6 · The Leavenworth Weekly Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) · Newspapers.comMary Church Terrell of the National Association of Colored Women speaks at a suffrage conventionMary Church Terrell of the National Association of Colored Women speaks at a suffrage convention Sat, Feb 17, 1900 – Page 1 · The Colored American (Washington, District of Columbia) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from Mary Church Terrell's address Excerpt from Mary Church Terrell's address "The Justice of Woman Suffrage" Thu, Feb 15, 1900 – 2 · Wyandotte Chief (Kansas City, Kansas) · Newspapers.comHistory of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's involvement in the women's suffrage movementHistory of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's involvement in the women's suffrage movement Sun, Nov 2, 1902 – Page 39 · The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comMajority at Turner Society meeting vote against women’s rights movement in 1906Majority at Turner Society meeting vote against women’s rights movement in 1906 Mon, Jan 15, 1906 – 8 · The Daily Times (Davenport, Iowa) · Newspapers.comOrganizer of the National League for the Civic Education of Women argues against suffrage (1909)Organizer of the National League for the Civic Education of Women argues against suffrage (1909) Sun, Apr 25, 1909 – Page 58 · The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York) · Newspapers.comPresident Taft agrees to address the 43rd annual National Woman Suffrage Association conventionPresident Taft agrees to address the 43rd annual National Woman Suffrage Association convention Fri, May 6, 1910 – Page 2 · Las Cruces Sun-News (Las Cruces, New Mexico) · Newspapers.comAmerican opinion seems to be shifting toward granting women the right to vote, 1911American opinion seems to be shifting toward granting women the right to vote, 1911 Sun, Mar 26, 1911 – Page 11 · The Washington Herald (Washington, District of Columbia) · Newspapers.comIda B. Wells is photographed marching in a suffrage parade in Washington DCIda B. Wells is photographed marching in a suffrage parade in Washington DC Wed, Mar 5, 1913 – 5 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.comTimeline of women’s suffrage movements from 1838 to 1913Timeline of women’s suffrage movements from 1838 to 1913 Fri, Aug 1, 1913 – Page 21 · The Commoner (Lincoln, Nebraska) · Newspapers.comIndiana women are expected to get limited right to vote, 1915Indiana women are expected to get limited right to vote, 1915 Sat, Feb 20, 1915 – Page 1 · The Republic (Columbus, Indiana) · Newspapers.comPhiladelphia Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball teams give support to women's suffrage, 1915Philadelphia Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball teams give support to women's suffrage, 1915 Wed, Jul 14, 1915 – 8 · Carlisle Evening Herald (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comKansans prove to be Kansans prove to be "important factors in New York's suffrage campaign," 1915 Fri, Oct 29, 1915 – Page 6 · The Wichita Beacon (Wichita, Kansas) · Newspapers.comOhio women are given the right to vote for presidential electors, 1917Ohio women are given the right to vote for presidential electors, 1917 Thu, Feb 15, 1917 – 1 · Lancaster Eagle-Gazette (Lancaster, Ohio) · Newspapers.comWomen denied voter’s registration in Marion County, Indiana, 1917Women denied voter’s registration in Marion County, Indiana, 1917 Thu, Jun 28, 1917 – Page 1 · The Richmond Item (Richmond, Indiana) · Newspapers.comU.S. Senate passes the 19th Amendment; Amendment will now go to states for ratification, 1919U.S. Senate passes the 19th Amendment; Amendment will now go to states for ratification, 1919 Thu, Jun 5, 1919 – 1 · Evening Times-Republican (Marshalltown, Iowa) · Newspapers.comWomen of Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs want their state to ratify the 19th AmendmentWomen of Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs want their state to ratify the 19th Amendment Thu, Jan 1, 1920 – 10 · Honolulu Star-Bulletin (Honolulu, Hawaii) · Newspapers.comHistory of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment as of May 1920History of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment as of May 1920 Thu, May 6, 1920 – Page 13 · The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana) · Newspapers.com"Tennessee Ratifies Suffrage; 36th State to Approve Amendment" Thu, Aug 19, 1920 – Page 1 · The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comPro-suffrage editorial cartoon published following the ratification of the 19th AmendmentPro-suffrage editorial cartoon published following the ratification of the 19th Amendment Thu, Aug 19, 1920 – Page 1 · The Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) · Newspapers.comAlice Paul, suffrage leader, toasts suffrage victory after ratification of 19th AmendmentAlice Paul, suffrage leader, toasts suffrage victory after ratification of 19th Amendment Thu, Aug 26, 1920 – Page 3 · The Oregon Daily Journal (Portland, Oregon) · Newspapers.com"Supreme Court Must Decide on Suffrage," 1920 Thu, Sep 2, 1920 – Page 1 · The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) · Newspapers.comU.S. Supreme Court unanimously supports legality of 19th Amendment, 1922U.S. Supreme Court unanimously supports legality of 19th Amendment, 1922 Tue, Feb 28, 1922 – 1 · The Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana) · Newspapers.comExcerpt from an article discussing racism in the women's suffrage movementExcerpt from an article discussing racism in the women's suffrage movement Sun, Aug 27, 1995 – 50 · Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida) · Newspapers.com
"U.S. Women’s Suffrage," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/progressive-era/womens-suffrage/ : accessed August 24, 2019)