Tennessee: Women's History

State of Tennessee depicted in purple, white, and gold (colors of the National Woman’s Party suffrage flag) – indicating Tennessee was one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment. Courtesy Megan Springate.
State of Tennessee depicted in purple, white, and gold (colors of the National Woman’s Party suffrage flag) – indicating Tennessee was one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment.

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Women fought for the right to vote since the mid-1800s. They marched, protested, lobbied, and even went to jail. By the 1870s, women pressured Congress to vote on an amendment that would give them 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.

W.J. Jameson, head of the National Finance Committee of the Democratic Party and suffragist Anita Pollitzer of the National Woman’s Party check the latest tally of vote pledges in favor of the 19th Amendment. Library of Congress.
W.J. Jameson, head of the National Finance Committee of the Democratic Party and suffragist Anita Pollitzer of the National Woman’s Party check the latest tally of vote pledges in favor of the 19th Amendment.

Library of Congress, Records of the National Woman's Party Collection. https://www.loc.gov/item/mnwp000257/

tennessee state flag
Tennessee state flag. CC0
On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the proposal. As a result, the proposal (now the 19th Amendment) made women’s suffrage legal all across the country.

Last updated: August 15, 2018