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Prohibition and the Suffrage Movement | The Vote | American Experience | PBS

For many suffragists, control of alcohol and access to the vote were two deeply intertwined causes. Both were critical, in their eyes, women’s civil liberties. But this connection sparked a response, as distilleries, breweries, and liquor distributors took the equation to push back against women’s suffrage as they defended their industry.

In the end, the 18th amendment, prohibiting alcohol In the U.S., was ratified on January 16, 1919. Women’s access to the ballot, and the 19th amendment, would have to wait another year and a half, until August 1920. The 18th amendment was ultimately repealed by the 21st amendment’s ratification on December 5, 1933.

Learn more about THE VOTE, including where to watch the documentary:

One hundred years after the passage of the 19th Amendment, The Vote tells the dramatic culmination story of the hard-fought campaign waged by American women for the right to vote — a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history.

In its final decade, from 1909 to 1920, movement leaders wrestled with contentious questions about the most effective methods for affecting social change. They debated the use of militant, even violent tactics, as well as hunger strikes and relentless public protests. The battle for the vote also upended previously accepted ideas about the proper role of women in American society and challenged the definitions of citizenship and democracy.

Exploring how and why millions of 20th-century Americans mobilized for — and against — women’s suffrage, The Vote brings to life the unsung leaders of the movement and the deep controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then — and continue to dominate political discourse today.