Nineteenth Amendment

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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 gender.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


This amendment was ratified in 1920, as advocates ("suffragettes") cited women's support of World War I to persuade President Woodrow Wilson to change his position from opposing this amendment to supporting it. Women could already vote in many areas of the country, but this amendment guaranteed the right, in violation of the principle of states' rights and in support of individual civil rights, a phenomenon further seen in civil rights legislation after the civil rights movement.

Opposition to this amendment, especially in the South, was very strong. Long after the Civil War, many southerners believed feminism had emerged as an offshoot of abolitionism. They also strongly believed that the suffragists challenged a precept deeply rooted in religion, law, and custom: the belief that women should be subordinate to men.[1]

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