Beyond 1920: The Legacies of Woman Suffrage
The Nineteenth Amendment officially eliminated sex as a barrier to voting throughout the United States. It expanded voting rights to more people than any other single measure in American history. And yet, the legacy of the Nineteenth Amendment, in the short term and over the next century, turned out to be complicated. It advanced equality between the sexes but left intersecting inequalities of class, race, and ethnicity intact. It stimulated important policy changes but left many reform goals unachieved. It helped women, above all white women, find new footings in government agencies, political parties, and elected offices—and, in time, even run for president—and yet left most outside the halls of power. Hardly the end of the struggle for diverse women's equality, the Nineteenth Amendment became a crucial step, but only a step, in the continuing quest for more representative democracy.