by middle school humanities students Phoebe, Chloe, Marley and Francesca with introduction by Diane Bramble

This year, 2020, is the hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. We celebrate the work of thousands of persistent women by learning about all that they did to get our country where we are today. But who were these women and how did they change American history?

This singular historical event in the United States—women earning the constitutional right to vote—may have been overlooked by many Americans this year. Until now, because there are four 6th grade students who accepted the challenge set forth by their Humanities teacher, Diane Bramble, to research and present the Nineteenth Amendment to their classmates. This project touches on one of the themes from the NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies): 

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people create, interact with, and change structures of power, authority, and governance.

Read on to learn more about the history of the Nineteenth Amendment. Thank you to Phoebe, Chloë, Francesca, and Marley for writing this week’s blog. Lastly, get ready to celebrate this August 18, 2020—the 100th year anniversary of the 19th Amendment!

In the eyes of the world I was not as I was in my own eyes, I was only a woman.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Suffragette

In 1920 women achieved the right to vote due to very brave women! These women were known as the Suffragists or Suffragettes, because they fought for women’s suffrage and equal rights. The women behind the Women’s Rights Movement are who made America as it is today! Even while being beaten, imprisoned, physically and verbally harmed, and facing absolutely brutal treatment, they spoke out against injustice when it came to matters between the sexes. They advocated for equality under the law. They made it so men didn’t have all of the legal rights to children, even though it was women who birthed, raised, and labored over them. They made it so women too were allowed to give their say on the outcome of their country. They made it so women weren’t considered the property of their husbands. They made it so all men and women were created equal.

The founding documents of the United States denied women equal rights in terms of voting. Around 144 years passed before women achieved suffrage. The Nineteenth Amendment was an amendment added to the Constitution of the United States of America in 1920. It was originally passed by Congress on June 4th, 1919, but only finally ratified on August 18, 1920. The Nineteenth Amendment changed millions of women’s lives as it helped American women move closer to equality. The Nineteenth Amendment changed the Constitution to prohibit the state and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens on the basis of sex. In the words of the Nineteenth Amendment: 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

With the Nineteenth Amendment ratified, today women are able to vote, thanks to the work of thousands of persistent women.

Challenging minds. Nurturing spirits. Honoring individuality.