Women protest for suffrage outside the White House

19th Amendment

Agreed to by Congress June 4, 1919; ratified and in force August 18, 1920.

Section 1. 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 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Also spelled out as the Nineteenth Amendment or Amendment XIX, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits states from denying voting rights to citizens based on gender, and was specifically intended to extend suffrage to women.

The 19th Amendment followed a long battle by women to gain these rights dating back at least to the Declaration of Sentiments from the first woman's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.

The 19th Amendment was agreed to by the United States Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified by the required three-fourths of the states and in force August 18, 1920.

Tennessee cast the deciding vote when Assemblyman Harry T. Burn changed his vote. He said he was following the advice of his mother, Mrs. J. L. Burns of Niota, Tennessee, expressed in a letter he had in his pocket. It said, "Dear Son: Hurrah and vote for suffrage! Don't keep them in doubt! I notice some of the speeches against. They were bitter. I have been watching to see how you stood, but have not noticed anything yet. Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt [Carrie Chapman Catt] put the "rat" in ratification. Your mother."