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HER FUTURE: Two Suffragettes Showing Suffrage Banner to Young Girl. 

United States [Between 1910 and 1930] Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2004669966/



Amendment XIX to the Constitution of the United States of America


 "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."


Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920


The League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County is pleased to offer this resource page for all those who would like to learn more about the fight for women's suffrage and the history of the League. Particularly in earlier histories, the suffrage movement was often romanticized, but more recent material has opened up new insights. Here are a couple of considerations before you begin to explore:

  • The passage of the 19th Amendment was not just a significant event for the women of the United States, it was also a game-changer for our democracy. When the other fifty percent of the population suddenly had the potential to influence how the country was governed, all lives were affected. 
  • Women who have been widely recognized as leaders in the suffrage movement, such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, were white and usually affluent. This picture has long been incomplete. With the interest in the 2020 centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, women of color, such as Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell, are finally taking their place in popular history as their stories are being researched and told. They represent not only the early battles for women’s rights but also the ongoing fight to ensure voting rights for all.
  • It's important not to discount the contribution of men to the suffrage movement. True, many men opposed it and—what is less well known—many women were also against it. But the support of men was a critical part of the success of the effort. Remember, Congress had to pass the amendment before it could be ratified and made law. The 66th U.S. Congress did this in June 1919. There were no women in Congress at that time.
  • Despite the passage of the 19th and other voting rights amendments, the struggle for voting rights goes on.  We'll continue to expand this page to include other voting rights and equality issues. 

More Information

League History

LWV-BMC: An Expanded History

History of the national, state, and local Leagues



Timeline for Women's Suffrage



Oral Histories of Suffragists



Suffrage Images from Library of Congress



Compilations of Suffrage Resources


Books


Films


Articles



Websites


League of Women Voters of the United States

LWVUS was founded on February 14, 1920, six months before ratification of the 19th Amendment. Their purpose was to be a means of teaching the newly enfranchised women about the mechanics of registering and voting; the process of nomination and election procedures; and our form of government. They thought the work might be accomplished in five years!


Through the years, the League has evolved from an organization concerned with women’s needs and training women voters to one concerned with the nation’s needs and to training and informing all voters. Men were admitted as members beginning in 1973.


League of Women Voters of Indiana

LWVIN was also organized in 1920, when 112 local chapters of the Indiana Franchise League folded into the LWVUS. Most of those local chapters disbanded or reorganized. There are now 20 local Leagues in Indiana, including Bloomington–Monroe County.


League of Women Voters of Bloomington–Monroe County

LWV-BMC began as the Women’s Franchise League in Bloomington in 1913. When the League of Women Voters was formed, the Bloomington Franchise League chose to join. Over the years, the League in Bloomington-Monroe County has been involved in educating the public and providing voter assistance. This includes specific efforts such as passage of an ordinance on rat control (1940s); pasteurization of milk (1940s); school consolidation (1950s); development of Lake Monroe (1950s); establishment of Utilities Service Board (1960s); environmental issues (e.g., Hoosier National Forest and PCBs in drinking water) (1970s), election laws (1980s), and PCB clean-up (1990s). Since 2000, we are known for our advocacy on voting issues, voter registration, nonpartisan candidate information, civics education programs, and our efforts in redistricting reform. LWV-BMC has about 125 members.


League of Women Voters: An Expanded History


Contact the League: league@lwv-bmc.org