Certificate of Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, Accompanied by Resolution and Transcript of the Journals of the Two Houses of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee


The Nineteenth Amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. The amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Over the years, champions of voting rights pursued different strategies for achieving their goal. Some worked to pass suffrage acts in each state, and by 1912 nine western states had adopted woman suffrage legislation. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Suffragists also used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance as opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them. By 1916, almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. The political landscape began to shift in 1917, when New York adopted woman suffrage and again in 1918, when President Woodrow Wilson changed his position to support an amendment. On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment with the Senate following two weeks later. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining the agreement of three-fourths of the states. With this document of August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification.

Last updated: July 8, 2014