Nineteen

Today is the anniversary of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment (last week was the anniversary of the ratifying vote in Tennessee which gave the amendment the necessary 36 states). These days, we take womens’ suffrage for granted, and it seems strange to think that there was ever a question of whether it would pass.

In fact, the Nineteenth Amendment was no sure thing. The Tennessee legislature famously passed it by a last-minute one-vote margin; and at the time, it had already been rejected outright by eight states (primarily in the South). If it had lost in Tennessee and just a few more states, the amendment would have failed. (Though by the time the vote got to Tennessee, its passage was all but assured, since some of the remaining undecided states were in New England.)

Happy birthday, womens suffrage.

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2 Responses

  1. Aparently your anti-spam word generator has a sense of humor – for this post, my word was “broad”

  2. Colin Miller says:

    And the right to vote to a large extent led to women gaining the right to serve as jurors:

    http://feministlawprofessors.com/?p=10605

    And, as I recently learned while assisting my wife with some volunteering at the Frances Willard House here in Evanston, the right to vote almost certainly would not have been recognized but for the fact that Willard paired it with prohibition as part of the home protection ballot.