Marriage Rights in the 20th Century in the United States

Timeline created by cquast
  • Property Ownership

    States grant married women the right to own property in their own name. Before this, only their husband's could own the property.
  • End of Polygamy

    End of Polygamy
    Joseph Smith outlaws polygamy in the Church of Latter Day Saints. Members would be kicked out of the church if they took more than one wife.
  • Gaining Nationality

    All women acquire their husband's nationality after getting married. Knowing what we know today, this is a very restrictive law.
  • Marriage Licenses

    Marriage Licenses
    All states now require marriage licenses. This shows that the government recognizes marriage as a civil union.
  • Independent Citizenship

    Independent Citizenship
    Married women were granted citizenship independent of their husband's. So, they are now no longer property of their husband.
  • Interracial Marriage

    California Supreme Court overturns ban on interracial marriage and makes it legal.
  • National Interracial Marriage

    National Interracial Marriage
    The US Supreme Court overturns laws prohibiting interracial couples from marrying. Finally, interracial marriages were recognized in all of the United States as being legal.
  • Women's Last Name

    The US Supreme Court agrees with an Alabama law which forces a women to take her husband's last name. Despite all of the progress made, women still lack the independence to choose what name they would like.