The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote. It was passed by Congress on June 4, 1919 and ratified by the states more than a year later, on August 18, 1920.
The 19th Amendment was the culmination of a long and difficult struggle, spanning generations of lobbying efforts and protests by supporters of womens suffrage. Many believe that the suffrage movement got its true start at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1948, when several hundred supporters, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, gathered to discuss and demand greater equality for women.
During the years following the convention, women slowly but steadily increased their participation in public life. The suffrage movement built steadily, becoming a mass movement in the early 20th century. By 1916, almost all suffrage organizations were pushing for a constitutional amendment. In 1917 and 1918, after New York joined the states that allowed women to vote and President Woodrow Wilson came out in support of an amendment, passage seemed inevitable.
There was one remaining fight, however. After passing both houses of Congress in 1919, the Amendment hit a roadblock in the Southern states, where many feared it would give too much power to black citizens. Supporters continued to campaign tenaciously and the Amendment was finally ratified after the last state, Tennessee, came on board in the late summer of 1920.
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.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.