Beginning in mid-1800s, women and men came together to advocate for women’s rights. Some fought for the government to grant women rights. Some argued that they already had the same rights as men, but that they were being prevented from enjoying those rights by unjust laws. The fight for women’s rights unfolded at all levels of government.
One of these issues was voting (or suffrage) rights. Some women wanted the federal government to recognize their right to vote by passing a constitutional amendment. After years of fighting and lobbying, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed in 1920. It declared that:
“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.”
Other women felt they should focus on getting their state or territory to recognize their right to vote. Several states and territories recognized women's suffrage rights before 1920, including Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, California, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, Kansas, Alaska, Illinois, North Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan, Arkansas, New York, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.
Learn more about the US states and territories and their role in ratifying the 19th Amendment. Did your state vote to ratify the amendment? Find out!
The Race to Ratification
Last updated: July 22, 2020