Constitution Daily

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Podcast: The history and meaning of the 19th Amendment

August 18, 2016 by NCC Staff


General Rosalie Jones, Jessie Stubbs, and Colonel Ida Craft. Courtesy Library of Congress.
General Rosalie Jones, Jessie Stubbs, and Colonel Ida Craft. Courtesy Library of Congress.

The 19th Amendment—ratified on August 18, 1920—states, “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.”

As written in 1787, the Constitution left the scope of voting rights undefined. The issue of voter qualifications was delegated to the states, which did not allow women to vote.

However, following the Civil War, leaders in the movement for women’s rights mobilized to expand the franchise. As early as 1869, states began to allow women to vote, building momentum for the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Joining We the People to discuss this landmark amendment are two leading scholars of the history of women’s rights in America.

Gretchen Ritter is a professor of government and the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University.Susan Ware is an independent historian and biographer who has taught at New York University and Harvard University.

Attention, We the People listeners!

Next week, on Wednesday, August 24, at 1:00pm ET, live on Facebook, Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center and host of We the People, will answer your questions about constitutional interpretation. You can submit questions in advance on social media using #AskJeffNCC or anonymously on Constitution Daily. And don’t forget to join Jeff live on August 24 to be a part of the conversation.

This show was engineered by Jason Gregory and produced by Nicandro Iannacci. Research was provided by Lana Ulrich and Tom Donnelly. The host of We the People is Jeffrey Rosen. Many thanks and best wishes to Josh Waimberg, who leaves the Center this month.

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