Iowa and the 19th Amendment

Iowa state overlaid with the purple, white, and gold suffrage flag
Iowa state overlaid with the purple, white, and gold suffrage flag, indicating it was one of the 36 original states to ratify the 19th Amendment. CC0

Women first organized and collectively fought for suffrage at the national level in July of 1848. Suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott convened a meeting of over 300 people in Seneca Falls, New York. In the following decades, women marched, protested, lobbied, and even went to jail. By the 1870s, women pressured Congress to vote on an amendment that would recognize their suffrage rights. This amendment became known as the 19th Amendment.

After decades of arguments for and against women's suffrage, Congress finally voted in favor of the 19th Amendment in 1919. This is called ratification. After Congress ratified the 19th Amendment, at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of it for it to become law.

On July 2, 1919, Iowa voted in favor of the Nineteenth Amendment. By August of 1920, 36 states (including Iowa) ratified the amendment, giving women the right to vote.

Iowa state flag
State flag of Iowa. CC0

Iowa Places of Women's Suffrage:
State Capitol Building

In 1916, Iowa suffragists convinced politicians to hold a state constitutional convention at the State Capitol Building. Politicians voted to change the state constitution to recognize women’s voting rights. As a result, the state recognized women’s suffrage four years before the passage of the 19th Amendment. In July of 1919, the state voted to ratify the 19th Amendment. The State Capitol Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open for public tours.

Photo of exterior of Iowa Capitol Building. Public Domain.

Discover More Places of Ratification

The Iowa State Capitol Building is an important place in the story of ratification. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Sources used to make these state pages include: Ida Husted Harper's History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1920, Volume 6 (1922), the National American Woman Suffrage Association papers (Library of Congress), and National Register nominations from the National Park Service.

Last updated: April 11, 2019