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Tuvalu

17 June 2020

U.S. Constitution 19th Amendment Centenary

Tuvalu: U.S. Constitution 19th Amendment Centenary, 17 June 2020. Images from Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation.

Technical Specifications:

100TH ANNIVERSARY OF 19TH AMENDMENT (WOMEN’S VOTE) SHEETLET OF 6 X $1.50
Country: Tuvalu
Topic: Woman
Item Number: TUV1919SH
Scott Number:
Date of Issue: 17-Jun-20

Souvenir Sheet:

Technical Specifications:

100TH ANNIVERSARY OF 19TH AMENDMENT (WOMEN’S VOTE) S/S $7
Country: Tuvalu
Topic: Woman
Item Number: TUV1919SS
Scott Number:
Date of Issue: 17-Jun-20

The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. Initially introduced to Congress in 1878, several attempts to pass a women’s suffrage amendment failed until passing the House of Representatives on May 21, 1919, followed by the Senate on June 4, 1919. It was then submitted to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee was the last of the necessary 36 ratifying states to secure adoption. The Nineteenth Amendment’s adoption was certified on August 26, 1920: the culmination of a decades-long movement for women’s suffrage at both state and national levels.

Prior to 1776, women had the right to vote in several of the colonies in what would become the United States, but by 1807 every state constitution denied even limited suffrage. Organizations supporting women’s rights became more active in the mid-nineteenth century and, in 1848, the Seneca Falls convention adopted the Declaration of Sentiments, which called for equality between the sexes and included a resolution urging women to secure the vote. Pro-suffrage organizations used a variety of tactics including legal arguments that relied on existing amendments. After those arguments were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, suffrage organizations, with activists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, called for a new constitutional amendment that would guarantee women the right to vote.

By the late nineteenth century, new states and territories, particularly in the West, began to grant women the right to vote. In 1878, a suffrage proposal that would eventually become the Nineteenth Amendment was introduced to Congress, but it was rejected in 1887. In the 1890s, suffrage organizations focused on a national amendment while still working at the state and local levels. Lucy Burns and Alice Paul emerged as important leaders whose different strategies helped move the Nineteenth Amendment forward. Entry of the United States into World War I helped to shift public perception of women’s suffrage. The National American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Carrie Chapman Catt, supported the war effort, making the case that women should be rewarded with enfranchisement for their patriotic wartime service. The National Woman’s Party staged marches, demonstrations, and hunger strikes while pointing out the contradictions of fighting abroad for democracy while limiting it at home by denying women the right to vote. The work of both organizations swayed public opinion, prompting President Wilson to announce his support of the suffrage amendment in 1918. It passed in 1919 and was adopted in 1920, withstanding two legal challenges, Leser v. Garnett and Fairchild v. Hughes.

The Nineteenth Amendment enfranchised 26 million American women in time for the 1920 U.S. presidential election, but the powerful women’s voting bloc that many politicians feared failed to fully materialize until decades later. Additionally, the Nineteenth Amendment failed to fully enfranchise African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Native American women (see § Limitations). Shortly after the amendment’s adoption, Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party began work on the Equal Rights Amendment, which they believed a necessary additional step to ensure equality.


The Republic of Palau currently utilizes the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation as its stamp production agent.  As a result, many of its issues have little to no relevance with topics related to the island. These stamps are issued with the approval of the Tuvalu government, but are produced at the discretion of the agencies involved, without requiring approval of the Stamp Advisory Committee. Many earlier releases are no longer valid for postage.

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