They year of 1920 was monumental for women’s rights. Passed by Congress in 1919 and adopted in 1920 after state ratification, the 19th Amendment took the unprecedented step of granting women the right to vote.
In this photo from the Willard Library Digital Archives, Evansville women wait in line to vote in the 1920 election, the first time women were federally allowed to cast their ballot in an election cycle.
While we take for granted the ability of women to vote, the journey to get there wasn’t easy. In honor of Women’s History Month, we look back at the women’s suffrage movement that fought to promote equality in the country.
The amendment was long in the making with the women’s suffrage movement dating back to the mid-1800s. Initiated by women who became politically active through their work in the abolitionist and temperance movements, women’s suffrage became their next push to action.
Female disenfranchisement was rampant throughout a United States that was in the midst of an internal conflict that led to the eventual Civil War. During the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War, the 15th amendment was adopted, which gave African American men the right to vote but not women.
It wasn’t until the formation of the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869, led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, that a push for women’s voting right finally came to fruition.