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    Susan B. Anthony Essay (1603 words)

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    I. Susan B. Anthony : A Biographical IntroductionSusan Brownell Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 inAdams, Massachusetts to Daniel and Lucy Anthony. Susan wasthe second born of eight children in a strict Quaker family.

    Her father, Daniel Anthony, was said to have been a sternman, a Quaker Abolitionist and a cotton manufacturer bornnear the conclusion of the eighteenth century. From what Iread, he believed in guiding his children, not in’directing’ them. Daniel Anthony did not allow hisoffspring to experience the childish amusements of toys,games, and music, which were seen as distractions from theinner light. Instead he enforced self-discipline,principled convictions, and the belief in one’s ownself-worth.

    Each of my sources indicates that Susan was a precociouschild and she learned to read and write at the age of three. In 1826, the Anthonys moved from Massachusetts toBattensville, New York where Susan attended a districtschool. When the teacher refused to teach Susan longdivision, Susan was taken out of school and taught in ahome school set up by her father. The school was run by awoman teacher, Mary Perkins. Perkins offered a new image ofwomanhood to Susan and her sisters. She was independent andeducated and held a position that had traditionally beenreserved to young men.

    Ultimately, Susan was sent toboarding school near Philadelphia. She taught at a femaleacademy and Quaker boarding school, in upstate New York from1846-49. Afterwards, she settled in herfamily home in Rochester, New York. It was here that shebegan her first public crusade on behalf of temperance(Anthony, 1975). II.

    The Struggle for Women’s RightsSusan B. Anthony’s first involvement in the world ofreform was in the temperance movement. This was one of thefirst expressions of original feminism in the United Statesand it dealt with the abuses of women and children whosuffered from alcoholic husbands. The first women’s rightsconvention had taken place in Seneca Falls, New York, inJuly of 1848.

    The declaration that emerged was modeled afterthe Declaration of Independence. Written by Elizabeth CadyStanton, it claimed that all men and women are createdequal and that the history of mankind is a history ofrepeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man towardwoman (Harper, 1993, vol. 1). Following a long list ofgrievances were resolutions for equitable laws, equaleducational and job opportunities, and the right to vote. One year later in 1849, Susan B. Anthony gave her firstpublic speech for the Daugters of Temperance and thenhelped to found the Woman’s State Temperance Society of NewYork, one of the first such organizations of its time.

    In 1851, she went to Syracuse to attend a series ofanti-slavery meetings. During this time Susan met ElizabethStanton in person, became fast friends, andsubsequently joined her and another woman named AmeliaBloomer in campaigns for women’s rights. In 1854, shedevoted herself to the anti-slavery movement serving from1856 to the outbreak of the civil war in 1861. Here, SusanB. Anthony served as an agent for the American Anti-slaverySociety. Afterwards, she collaborated with Stanton andpublished the New York liberal weekly, The Revolution.

    (from 1868-70) which called for equal pay for women (Harper,1993, vols. 1 & 2). In 1872, Susan demanded that women be given the samecivil and political rights that had been extended to blackmales under the 14th and 15th amendments. Thus, she led agroup of women to the polls in Rochester to test the rightof women to vote. She was arrested two weeks later and whileawaiting trial, engaged in highly publicized lecture toursand in March 1873, she tried to vote again in cityelections. After being tried and convicted of violating thevoting laws, Susan succeeded in her refusal to pay the fineof one hundred dollars.

    From then on- she campaignedendlessly for a federal woman suffrage amendment through theNational Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) (from 1869-90)and the National American Woman Suffrage Association (from1890-1906) and by lecturing throughout the country as well(Barry, 1988). III. After Anthony : The Struggle ContinuesThe struggle to eventually win the vote was a slow andfrustrating one. Wyoming Territory in 1869, Utah Territoryin 1870, and the states of Colorado in 1893 and Idaho in1896 granted women the vote but the Eastern states stillresisted it. The woman-suffrage amendment to the FederalConstitution, presented to every Congress since 1878,repeatedly failed to pass. Over a generation later, when the United States enteredWorld War I in April 1917, the NAWSA pledged its support.

    Thousands of suffragists folded bandages in their localheadquarters and volunteered to work in hospitals andgovernment offices. The suffrage leaders hoped that afterthe war American women would be rewarded with the vote fortheir patriotic efforts. Some feminist leaders split with the NAWSA over itssupport of the war. Another woman named Alice Paul led theCongressional Union for Women’s Suffrage, later called theNational Woman’s party, in agitating for the vote during thewar. Another group, the New York branch of the Woman’sPeace party, led by a woman named Crystal Eastman, refusedto support the war to make the world safe for democracywhen American women did not have democratic rights.

    Thenational Woman’s Peace party, headed by Jane Addams,supported a peace settlement but did not openly oppose thewar (Meyer, 1987). Congress finally did pass the women’s suffrage bill inJune 1919, and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution becamelaw on August 26 of 1920. With that one occurrence,approximately twenty-five million women had won the rightto vote (Meyer, 1987). Following the suffrage victory,NAWSA members transferred their allegiance to the newlycreated League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organizationdedicated to educating women on political issues. TheNational Woman’s party worked toward an amendment to theConstitution providing complete equality of rights forwomen.

    The Woman’s Peace party became affiliated withanother pacifist group, the Women’s International League forPeace and Freedom. In Great Britain, as in the United States, woman-suffrageworkers divided into two camps–the moderate National Unionof Women’s Suffrage Societies and the militant Women’sSocial and Political Union, led by Emmeline Pankhurst andher daughters Christabel and Sylvia. A bill conferringsuffrage on women over 30 was passed by the BritishParliament in 1918. Ten years later the age limit waslowered to 21.

    Meanwhile, New Zealand had granted fullsuffrage in 1893, and Australia in 1902. Women had won fullsuffrage in Finland in 1906 and in Norway in 1913 and werevoting in most countries by the time World War II broke out. In 1945, Japanese women also received the right to vote. Women voted for the first time in France in 1945. Women inItaly won the right to vote one year later in 1946. (Meyer, 1987).

    IV. Conclusive RemarksSusan B. Anthony, along with Stanton and Matilda JoslynGage had published The History of Woman Suffrage (in fourvolumes released from 1881-1902) In 1888, she organized theInternational Council of Women and in 1904 the InternationalWoman Suffrage Alliance (Harper, 1993, vol. 3). AlthoughAnthony did not live to see the consummation of her effortsto win the right to vote for women, the establishment of the19th amendment is deeply owed to her efforts. Susan B.

    Anthony died of natural causes in 1906 but aswas indicated within the previous section, her dreamscertainly did not die with her. Anthony is known to havealways acknowledged Stanton as the founder of the women’srights movement. Her own achievement lay in her inspirationand perseverance in bringing together vast numbers of peopleof both sexes around the single goal of the vote. Because of Aunt Susan’s love for women’s rights andperseverance in her cause, women today undeniably enjoy agreat many more rights and privileges than those of theprevious century. For one hundred years ago, a woman wasruled by a government and a law in which she had no voiceand no say. If she felt herself wronged in any way, shape,or form- she had no way of making the fact known to the law,or no way in which she might suggest a remedying solutionfor it.

    It was an unheard of thing for a woman to speak outin public. None of the nation’s colleges or universitiesadmitted women as students. Females were barred from nearlyallprofitable employments, and in those that we were permittedto pursue, women received only one quarter of the man’scompensation for the same work; females could never becomenot become a doctor or lawyer, or, – except within theSociety of Friends, – a minister (Lutz, 1976). If she was married any wages she might earn were nothers, but must be handed by the employer to her husband, whowas in every way her master, the law even giving him thepower to chastise or punish her.

    The laws of divorce were soframed as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women,in every case the man always gaining the control of thechildren- even if he were the offender in the case. A fathercould apprentice his children without the leave of themother, and at his death could appoint a guardian for them,thereby taking them from the mother’s control. Manendeavored in every way possible to destroy woman’sconfidence in her powers, to lessen her self-respect and tomake her willing to lead a dependent, subservient life. Itreally seemed as if man had assumed the powers of the Lordhimself in claiming it as his right to tell woman what shemight or might not do, and what was or was not her place. For more than half a century, Susan B. Anthony hadfought for change in the form of women’s rights.

    Accordingto my research, many people rudely made fun of her. Someinsulted her. Nevertheless, she traveled from county tocounty in New York and other states making speeches andorganizing clubs for women’s rights. She pleaded her cause with every president from AbrahamLincoln to Theodore Roosevelt.

    On July 2, 1979, the U. S. Mint appropriately honored her work by issuing thewell-known Susan B. Anthony dollar coin (Barry, 1988). BibliographyV. BibliographyAnthony, Katherine S.

    Susan B. Anthony : Her PersonalHistory and Era. Re-Printed in 1975. Barry, K. , Susan B. Anthony.

    Printed in 1988. Harper, I. H. , The Life and Work of Susan B.

    Anthony,3 vols. 1898-1908; reprinted in 1993. Lutz, Alma, Susan B. Anthony. Reprinted in 1976.Meyer, Donald., Sex and Power : The Rise of Women All Oeerthe World.,Printed in 1987.English Essays

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