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Susan B. Anthony(女权运动的勇士)

 

 

One of the principal reasons that women were given the right to vote was largely due to the actions and determination of Susan B. Anthony. However, hundreds of years earlier, another determined woman by the name of Margaret Brent attempted to vote in1648, but was denied. Brent's attempt would be the first in the United States by a woman, who attempted this in the State of Maryland.

      Known as the "Napoleon of the women's rights movement," Susan Brownell Anthony was born to Quaker parents in 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts, to a family that strongly believed in the abolition of slavery. She grew to become the famous social reformer and women's suffrage leader - a champion of women's rights. She learned from her father and her Quaker up bringing a teaching of equality before God, and through her strong sense of independence, devoted herself to this cause for more than half a century.

       Her involvement began when after having taught school for ten years, she returned to her home to help manage the family farm. Here she met Lloyd Garrison, Amelia Bloomer and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, all abolitionists. Through their influence she began her temperance work. Once at a temperance rally she attempted to speak, but was not permitted to do so. In defiance, she and Stanton formed the first women's temperance society.

       Because Ms. Anthony never married, she had the time, freedom and ability to travel. Because she was not a very good speaker, she left most of the speeches to Stanton, who excelled at this. It is my opinion that although she may not have been the orator that Stanton was, she excelled in writing, as I find her various speeches very inspiring. Because Stanton assumed the title role as speaker, Anthony stayed to working, and most effectively, behind the scenes. For many years, she worked tirelessly on tours in the Eastern United States, where she garnered support, obtained signatures on petitions, and gave some lectures, in spite of her shortcomings as a speaker. Many times, she placed herself in danger, because she frequently encountered abusive people, bordering on violence.

 In the 1800s, women in the United States had few legal rights. By the 1850s, through their hard work, women's property rights developed through changes in the laws in New York. During the Civil War, they managed to obtain hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions that supported emancipation, yet gained little support for women's rights and suffrage. Upon the passage of the 14th Amendment, which gave Negroes the right to vote, she and her followers saw this as a betrayal to the cause of women. In furtherance of their cause, Stanton and Anthony published a weekly journal titled Revolution. Its crusade was for women's rights, and its motto was: Men Their Rights and Nothing More - Women Their Rights and Nothing Less.

          By 1869 they had founded the first national organization - the National Woman Suffrage Association, which was devoted entirely to women's right to vote. Its major goal was to have a Federal woman's suffrage amendment. Several months after this organization was formed, another lady named Lucy Stone founded the American Woman Suffrage Association, which by design was to garner support through the states.

          In 1873, Susan Anthony was arrested for casting an illegal vote in the presidential election
of 1872. She was tried and then fined $100 but refused to pay.

          Soon thereafter, Anthony finally was able to persuade California Senator Aaron Sargent to introduce a women's suffrage amendment in the U.S. Senate. Also, up to this time, the two suffrage organizations, the federal and state, had differences, but in 1890, they resolved them and merged, forming the National American Women's Suffrage Association. Although it took another ten years, but by 1900, Anthony was considered its champion leader.

          At the age of eighty, she retired as the association's president, and gave her final speech in 1906, titled: "Failure is Impossible." Susan B. Anthony died in 1906. Following her death, after fifty years of tireless dedication, both the Democratic and Republican parties finally endorsed women's right to vote. In August of 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was finally ratified, which allowed women the right to vote.


 

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