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United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote, was passed by the Senate, two weeks after being approved by the House of Representatives; the amendment was ratified the following year.
Nineteenth Amendment, amendment (1920) to the Constitution of the United States that officially extended the right to vote to women.
Opposition to woman suffrage in the United States predated the Constitutional Convention (1787), which drafted and adopted the Constitution. The prevailing view within society was that women should be precluded from holding office and voting—indeed, it was generally accepted (among men) that women should be protected from the evils of politics. Still, there was opposition to such patriarchal views from the beginning, as when Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, asked her husband in 1776, as he went to the Continental Congress to adopt the Declaration of Independence, to “remember the ladies and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.” In the scattered places where women could vote in some types of local elections, they began to lose this right in the late 18th century.
From the founding of the United States, women were almost universally excluded from voting and their voices largely suppressed from the political sphere. Beginning in the early 19th century, as women chafed at these restrictions, the movement for woman suffrage began and was tied in large part to agitation against slavery. In July 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, then the hometown of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the Seneca Falls Convention launched the women’s rights movement and also called for woman suffrage. The American Civil War (1861–65) resulted in the end of the institution of slavery, and in its aftermath many women abolitionists put on hold their desire for universal suffrage in favour of ensuring suffrage for newly freed male slaves.
woman suffrage: In the United States, 1776–1959
Gradually throughout the second half of the 19th century, certain states and territories extended often limited voting rights to women. Wyoming Territory granted women the right to vote in all elections in 1869. But it soon became apparent that an amendment to the federal Constitution would be a preferable plan for suffragists. Two organizations were formed in 1869: the National Woman Suffrage Association, which sought to achieve a federal constitutional amendment that would secure the ballot for women; and the American Woman Suffrage Association, which focused on obtaining amendments to that effect in the constitutions of the various states. The two organizations worked together closely and would merge in 1890.
Hear Dr. Colleen Shogan talk on the 19th Amendment and the history of the women's suffrage movement
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In 1878 a constitutional amendment was introduced in Congress that would enshrine woman suffrage for all elections. It would be reintroduced in every Congress thereafter. In 1890 Wyoming became a state and thus also became the first state whose constitution guaranteed women the right to vote. Over the next decade several other states—all in the western part of the country—joined Wyoming. In 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt ran (unsuccessfully) as a third-party candidate for president, his party became the first national party to adopt a plank supporting a constitutional amendment.
In January 1918, with momentum clearly behind the suffragists—15 states had extended equal voting rights to women, and the amendment was formally supported by both parties and by the president, Woodrow Wilson—the amendment passed with the bare minimum two-thirds support in the House of Representatives, but it failed narrowly in the U.S. Senate. This galvanized the National Woman’s Party, which led a campaign seeking to oust senators who had voted against it.
A subsequent attempt to pass the amendment came in 1919, and this time it passed both chambers with the requisite two-thirds majority—304–89 in the House of Representatives on May 21, and 56–25 in the Senate on June 4. Although the amendment’s fate seemed in doubt, because of opposition throughout much of the South, on August 18, 1920, Tennessee—by one vote—became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, thereby ensuring its adoption. On August 26 the Nineteenth Amendment was proclaimed by the secretary of state as being part of the Constitution of the United States.
The full text of the amendment is:
Brian P. Smentkowski Michael LevyThe 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.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Angelina Jolie, original name Angelina Jolie Voight, (born June 4, 1975, Los Angeles, California, U.S.), American actress and director known for her sex appeal and edginess as well as for her humanitarian work. She won an Academy Award for her supporting role as a mental patient in Girl, Interrupted (1999).
Jolie, daughter of actor Jon Voight, spent much of her childhood in New York before relocating to Los Angeles at age 11. She attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute for two years and then enrolled at Beverly Hills High School. She later studied drama at New York University. In addition to acting in theatre productions, she modeled and appeared in music videos.
Jolie’s first major movie role was in Hackers (1995), during the filming of which she met her first husband, British actor Jonny Lee Miller (married 1996; divorced 1999). The film failed to find an audience, as did a series of subsequent movies. In 1997, however, Jolie garnered much attention portraying the wife of Alabama’s segregationist governor in the television movie George Wallace, and she later won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal. The following year she played a supermodel struggling with drug addiction in the HBO movie Gia, a performance that earned her multiple honours, including a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 1999 she appeared in the comedy Pushing Tin with John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton, and the following year she married Thornton (divorced 2003).
After her Oscar-winning turn in Girl, Interrupted, Jolie starred in a series of action movies. She played the girlfriend of a carjacker (Nicolas Cage) in Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) and later adopted a British accent and mastered street fighting and kickboxing for the title roles in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003). In 2004 she portrayed the mother of Alexander the Great in Oliver Stone’s Alexander and also starred opposite Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, a sci-fi thriller set in 1930s New York City. Both films were box-office disappointments, but Jolie scored a hit with Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), in which she played an assassin pretending to be a normal housewife; while working on the film, she met Brad Pitt, who became her partner.
In Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd (2006), she was the aggrieved wife of an early CIA agent (Matt Damon). Jolie earned critical acclaim for her performance as Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart (2007). Based on a true story, the film followed efforts to rescue Pearl’s husband, Daniel, who was kidnapped and later murdered by Islamic extremists while reporting in Pakistan for The Wall Street Journal. Jolie followed it with Beowulf (2007) and Wanted (2008). Her immersion into the role of a mother whose son is kidnapped and later replaced by a different child in Clint Eastwood’s Changeling (2008) resulted in another Oscar nomination.
In 2010 Jolie starred as a CIA operative accused of spying for Russia in the action thriller Salt and appeared opposite Johnny Depp in the caper The Tourist. She later assumed the role of the titular villain in Maleficent (2014). The live-action film attempted to cast the evil fairy from the 1959 Disney animated classic Sleeping Beauty in a more sympathetic light. Jolie later starred in the sequel (2019). In 2020 she starred in the fantasy-adventure Come Away, playing the mother of Peter Pan and Alice (of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), characters created by J.M. Barrie and Lewis Carroll, respectively. In the action-thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021), Jolie portrayed a firefighter protecting a young boy being chased by killers. Also in 2021 she appeared as the immortal warrior Thena in Eternals, an action movie that was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition, Jolie provided voices for several films, including the animated Kung Fu Panda (2008) and its sequels (2011 and 2016) as well as The One and Only Ivan (2020).
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