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What is the 19th Amendment?


Question: What is the 19th Amendment?

The 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteed women the right to vote.

Answer: Often referred as the Susan B. Anthony amendment, the 19th Amendment was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919 by a vote of 56 to 25 in the Senate; ratified by the necessary 36 states (with Tennessee as the last state to vote for passage on August 18, 1920); and proclaimed as part of the Constitution of the United States on August 26, 1920.

At 8 a.m. on that day, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the proclamation which stated:

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.

An earlier form of the amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878 by Senator A.A. Sargent of California. Although the bill died in committee, it would be brought before Congress nearly every year for the next 40 years. Finally in 1919 during the 66th Congress, Representative James R. Mann of Illinois introduced the amendment in the House on May 19th. Two days later, on May 21st the House passed it by a vote of 304 to 88, clearing the way for the Senate vote the following month and then ratification by the states.


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