The 19th Amendment was the culmination of a 70 year struggle by female suffragists in the USA. Passed in the Parliament by a vote of 56 to 25, the Amendment granted the right of voting to women. The importance of the 19th Amendment cannot be understated, especially for the women in USA. It not only provided them with a fundamental right, but also elevated their status and brought them closer to their male counterparts. However, massive resistance in the succeeding years meant that the Amendment was not entirety a success.
The two articles of the Amendment read:
1) 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
2) Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation(The New York Times, 1919)
Having won in the Senate, the National Women’s Party at once embarked upon another mission: to ensure that ¾ of the states ratified the legislation so that women could vote at the next presidential elections. There were attempts to enforce ratification by States by two senators of the House: Underwood of Alabama and Gray from Louisiana, but both of these resolutions failed to get the required votes. Hence, state ratification remained a problem of female suffragists.
In twenty-eight States, ratification was expected to be quick, according to Suffrage leaders. However, other states presented a problem. A special session was a requirement for the ratification of the federal bill, but many State governors paid no heed to call such a session. The New York Times ( Feb 14, 1920) reported that Suffragists had to press Governors to hold sessions. In special focus was the Governor of Washington, Governor Hart, who had made no move to initiate a session. Suffragists had to demonstrate to urge the holding of sessions in many States, and this pushed the ratification timeline further. At last, the final...