The Nineteenth Amendment
The Nineteenth Amendment was a vital turning point for the United States and its government. It was important because it changed voting rights for women. It also gave the women of the United States more freedom. The Nineteenth Amendment also changed the way women were viewed by society and gave them a higher place in society.
Before the nineteenth amendment was passed in June 4, 1919 women were not allowed to vote. If they tried to they would get in trouble with the law and they would be imprisoned. The article “Women’s Fight for the Vote,” reads that Susan B. Anthony was prosecuted for illegally voting in the 1872 Elections, in Rochestor, New York. In Susan Barbers article, “One Hundred Years towards Suffrage: An Overview,” in 1874 while Susan B. Anthony was being prosecuted and taken to trial Sojourner Truth demanded a ballot to vote in the Battle Creek, Michigan, but she was turned away. However, in 1878 a women suffrage amendment was introduced in the United States Congress. The wording was unchanged in 1919, when the amendment finally passed both houses. This amendment was and still is very important because before this amendment women were allowed to do very little.
The Nineteenth Amendment gave women more freedom and put women in a higher place in society. Women were obligated to be housewives and the majority of them were not allowed to work. An exception was when men went off to war women would have to replace the men in their jobs until they came back from war. All of this was before the Nineteenth Amendment was passed.
After it was passed by congress women were allowed to vote also they were allowed to work on their own and have their own jobs, not just to replace men while they were off at war. They had big moral values and people finally valued them. In 1920, half a century after obtaining the right to vote women got the right to vote also. The nineteenth amendment read that the right of citizens of the United States shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Women felt that they as citizens should have the right to vote. Many women like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Julia Ward Howe fought for the women’s right to vote. Stanton and Anthony marched in a women’s suffrage parade in 1919. They worked hard and tirelessly for women’s voting rights. Many women would get together and they staged parades, organized protest meetings, endured hunger strikes, heckled candidates for Parliament, and spat policemen who tired to silence them. Many of the women involved were often imprisoned for their activities, before parliament granted them the right to vote in 1928.
When women got the right to vote it changed the way they were viewed by society. They were given more respect and were now seen as people instead of just housekeepers. However, Native Americans still did not have the right to vote. Four years after ratification of the nineteenth amendment in 1924, citizenship; including the right to vote, was extended to Native Americans. The beginning of the fight for women’s suffrage is usually traced to the “Declaration of Sentiments” produced at the women’s convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Four years later at the women’s right convention is Syracuse in 1852. Susan B. Anthony joined the fight arguing that:
“The right women needed above everyone…was the right of suffrage.”
In May 1919 the necessary two-thirds vote in favor of women suffrage amendment was finally mustered in congress and the proposed amendment was sent to the states for ratification. because women lacked the vote and therefore political power, they were denied many opportunities that were open and available for men. In 1872, Myra Bradwell challenged Illinois law which restricted membership in the state bar to men. The Supreme Court upheld the law. In minor, a unanimous vote the court rejected the argument that either the privileges and immunities clause of the fourteenth amendment extended vote to women. In July 1890, the Territory of Wyoming, which allowed women to vote, was admitted as a state. Wyoming became the first state with women suffrage rights. Many women got together and made a petition asking that voting rights be given to women in 1871. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and many others signed it. After the civil war, the suffrage movement was divided due to ideology differences. Two separate organizations pursued voting rights for women. Both sides made a petition, but the petition was obviously not granted at the time. However, men were not the only ones who opposed to women’s suffrage. Some opposition also came from women as well. Some women believed that the political process and power was demeaning to their roles as wives and mothers. In New York, there was a Women’s Vote Anti-Suffrage Party that circulated a petition against women’s suffrage in 1918. The remaining twelve states of the union took over sixty years to add ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, ten of these states originally had rejected the amendment. Mississippi was the last state of the forty-eight states to ratify the amendment when it did so on March 22, 1984.
A vital amendment that changed the United States constitution forever was the nineteenth amendment. It gave women the right to vote. However, it took half a century after for the women to gain this right in 1920. The amendment read:
“Section One: 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.
Section Two: Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
The nineteenth amendment was passed by congress June 4, 1919 and was ratified in August 18, 1920. Therefore the nineteenth amendment was and is still to this day vital to the United States Constitution. It made a huge impact and changed things for the best.