19th Amendment and Women's Access to the Vote Across America

Series edited by Tamara Gaskell.

The Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution barred states from excluding women from the ballot based solely on the basis of their sex. Signed into law on August 26, 1920, the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment was the result of decades of work by tens of thousands across the country who worked for change. Not everyone followed the same path in fighting for women's equal access to the vote, and the history of the Nineteenth Amendment is frought with competing agendas and betrayals. But it is also the story of cooperation and alliances across movements and across the United States and globally.

Well before the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, women could vote in state and local elections in some US states and territories, especially in the West. After it became law, many women across the US were still excluded from voting because they were not citizens or because of state restrictions on certain populations voting.

This essay series was commissioned by the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and the National Park Service in recognition of the centennial of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Focusing on the Nineteenth Amendment, the series examines the history of woman suffrage across the United States, including early adopters, international influences, anti-suffragists, depiction in popular culture, and its lasting influence.
Tamara Gaskell is the director of the Roeliff Jansen Community Library in Hillsdale, NY. She has extensive experience as both a public historian and an editor. She is the assistant editor of the first two volumes of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (Rutgers University Press, 1997–2000), was director of publications at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and served as co-editor of The Public Historian and The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, for which she wrote the essay on woman suffrage.

Last updated: August 6, 2019

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