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Introduction   African Americans    Women    Native Americans    Voters Today

In 1890, the two organizations reconciled and became the National American Woman Suffrage Association. By then, women had the right to vote in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Colorado and Washington. Armed with strategies from both founding groups, and joined by organizations including the National Association of Colored Women, the National Women's Party and the National Federation of Women's Clubs, NAWSA became an influential national force. As a mark of their influence, Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose/Progressive party adopted women's suffrage as party plank in 1912.

Alice Paul, leader of the National Women's Party, brought attention-grabbing protest tactics from British suffragists to the United States. In 1917, ten suffragists were arrested for picketing the White House. Their crime, obstructing sidewalk traffic. Their presence, noted by President Wilson and his wife, was soon forgotten as clouds of war gathered over the United States.

The suffrage movement slowed during World War I, but women continued to assert their status as full and independent members of society. During World War II, women began entering the work force in support of the war effort.

Since 1878, a women's suffrage amendment had been proposed each year in Congress. In 1919, the suffrage movement had finally gained enough support, and Congress, grateful for women's help during the war passed the Nineteenth Amendment on June 5. With these words, Congress at last enfranchised half of the American population:

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.

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