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History of Voting

19th Amendment: Action and Impact

The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18th, 1920 after years of protest and organizing by women across the country. This amendment guaranteed women the right to vote. This amendment was in 1878 and was propelled by the Seneca Falls Convention and various women's groups that were founded after the Civil War. The push for the amendment was started by well-known women in the movement including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. However, the woman considered by many to bring its to eventual passing is Alice Paul, who took a more mobilized set of actions including public protests. The cause came to the attention of then President Woodrow Wilson as a way to encourage civic engagement during the first World War. The House Resolution was passed on May 21st, 1919 and then passed by the Senate on June 4th, 1919. This set off the ratification cycle by the States and with that Tennessee certified the ratification of the 19th Amendment. 


Special Collections and University Archives

Minnie Stowe Puett papers- Minnie Stowe Puett was a suffragette from Gaston County and a member of the League of Women Voters and was married to the first mayor of Belmont, North Carolina. Highlights of this collection include broadsides from Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina and the National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company. 

Congressional Reports on Woman Suffrage, 1871- This government document comes from the reports of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. These reports come seven years before the introduction of the Amendment. 

"The cause"; a short history of the women's movement in Great Britain -This books looks at the suffrage movement that occurred in Great Britain, whose methods were brought to the United States that resulted in great success with drumming up support for women's suffrage. 

Constitutional equality a right of woman; or A consideration of the various relations which she sustains as a necessary part of the body of society and humanity- This book written by Tennie C. Claflin discusses the issues around suffrage and marriage, the future of American women, and constitutional equality. 



General Collection Resources


Women in the National Archives, Kew- This database includes materials focused on British Women's suffrage from the National Archives of the United Kingdom. 

New York Times Historical Archives (1851-2010)- Archives of the famous New York Times newspaper. 

North American Women's Letters and Diaries- This database contains various letters and diaries from everyday women and spans the colonial period to the 1950s.