Tag Archives: American Woman Suffrage Association

Susan B. Anthony: Women Suffrage Leader

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Susan B. Anthony spoke at every convention fro...

Susan B. Anthony spoke at every convention from 1852 onward, and served as president in 1858. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In the 2012 Presidential Election, the group that decided the vote was the women. As politicians are starting to realize, women pay attention to politics and are capable of influencing the vote. Less than one hundred years ago, women were not able to vote. Though they make up 50% of the population, they could not vote under the Bill of Rights or the 14th Amendment that allowed men of any color to vote. Then a woman by the name of Susan B. Anthony united women and led the women suffrage movement.

Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. Though most women did not receive a formal education in the early 1800’s, her Quaker parents believed in equal treatment for boys and girls. When she was denied from learning long division because of her gender, Anthony realized that not all people believed in equality. After her father’s business failed, she moved with her family to Rochester, New York to become a teacher. As a teacher, she demanded that female teachers receive better pay. She also became involved in the abolitionist movement; her family’s farm served as a meeting place for abolitionists. Anthony joined the Daughters of Temperance to limit the sale of alcohol since some women were stuck in marriages to alcoholic men. When she was refused to speak at the state convection because of her gender, Anthony began to focus her time on women’s rights.

At an anti-slavery conference in 1851, she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton through mutual friend Amelia Bloomer. Anthony and Stanton would spend the rest of their lives as friends fighting for women’s rights since they knew if they were to influence public affairs, they needed to vote. In 1852, Anthony attended her first women’s rights convection in Syracuse. Stanton wrote the speeches and Anthony traveled across the country, giving the speeches. When the 15th Amendment passed, giving the black man a right to vote, Anthony was upset that women still could not vote. In 1968, she wrote The Revolution, a newsletter that advocated better working conditions and equality for all races and genders. In 1869, she and Stanton founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association. This organization focused on getting the federal government to allow women to vote.

On November 5, 1872, Anthony became the first person to be arrested, put on trial, and fined for voting in the presidential election. In 1878, Anthony, Stanton, and Matilda Joslyn Gage wrote “The History of Woman Suffrage.” In 1887, the National Woman’s Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association merged as the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Though both groups differed on several issues, the only issue that brought all the women together was voting. It was Anthony who realized that the women needed to concentrate on getting the right to vote before demanding more rights in work, marriages, and court. In 1900, University of Rochester admitted women for the first time because of Anthony.

In 1878, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which later became the 19th Amendment. It stated that all sexes were given the right to vote in the United States. When asked if women would ever be able to vote, she replied, “It will come, but I Shall not see it…It is inevitable. We can no more deny forever the right of self-government to one-half our people than we could keep the Negro forever in bondage. It will not be wrought by the same disrupting forces that freed the slave, but come it will, and I believe within a generation.” Anthony died on March 13, 1906. 14 years later, on August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed – 41 years after Anthony first wrote the Amendment.

In 2012, 53% of the voters were women – it was these women who decided who would become president. Besides choosing the president in 2012, a historic number of women were voted into U.S. Congress. 53% of the voters were women. Women are now able to influence public affairs– an event Susan B. Anthony knew would one day happen after women received the vote. Now, the government knows it can no longer control women as long as women continue to make their voices heard by enforcing their right to vote.


Sources:

Susan B. Anthony. biography

Biography of Susan B. Anthony

Susan Brownell Anthony

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Feminist

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When one thinks of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, one usually thinks only about Susan B. Anthony. Besides giving speeches and getting arrested trying to vote, Anthony also appeared on the U.S. coin dollar. Besides Anthony, there were hundreds of women involved in getting women the right to vote, including Anthony’s best friend  Elizabeth Cady Stanton. While majority of the women focused only on voting, Stanton also focused on women leaving unhappy marriage and saying “no” to their husband if they didn’t want to have sex; two very radical ideas at the time. Stanton believed before many women did that women are equal to men.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born on November 12, 1815 in Johnston, New York. Her father, Daniel Cady, was a New York Supreme Court judge so she grew up learning about law and how to debate. She attended Emma Willard’s Academy but because she was a woman, she could not attend college. After the academy, she spent much of her time at her cousin’s, the abolitionist Gerrit Smith. While she was there, Stanton met Henry B. Stanton and the two married in 1840. They spent their honeymoon at the World’s Antislavery Convection in London where Stanton met Lucretia Mott, an American female abolitionist. The two women were not allowed to participate in the antislavery convection, forced to sit in a rope-off area. The couple went to live in Boston, Massachusetts, where Stanton was surrounded by free-thinkers, including Louisa May Alcott and Frederick Douglass.

In 1847, the Stantons moved to Seneca Falls, New York. After having seven children, Stanton grew tired of domestic confinement and began working to get the Married Women’s Property Bill passed. The bill passed in New York in April 1948; it allowed women to own their property after marrying, instead of having their belongings go to the husbands. In July 1848, with the help of Mott, she organized the world’s first women’s rights convection. The two women never forgot being roped off from men at the slavery convection.Over 300 people attended, – it was the official start of the women suffrage movement.  In 1851, she met Susan B. Anthony through Amelia Bloomer; the two would remain best friends for the rest of their lives. While Stanton had to stay at home to take care of her husband and children, Anthony was single and able to travel; thus, Stanton wrote the speeches and Anthony delivered them. In 1854, Stanton addressed the New York Legislation on a women’s rights bill. Stanton and Anthony formed the National Women’s Loyal League on the constitutional abolition of slavery. They were upset when the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments allowed former male salves to vote but not American women, black or white. In 1969, they established the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, the forerunner of the organization that eventually secured the Nineteenth Amendment. The organization was upset that the Amendments passed excluding women while the American Woman Suffrage Association, founded by Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Julia Ward Howe, supported the Amendments. In 1876, she wrote the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States, which Anthony presented, uninvited, at the Centennial Celebration in Washington, D.C. in 1876. The Rights were signed by several feminists, including Lucretia Mott. Stanton, Anthony, and Matilda Gage wrote the first three volumes of A History of Women Suffrage.

While majority of women concentrated on gaining voting rights, Stanton focused on women being able to divorce alcoholic husbands and to leave unhappy marriages; she also believed women should decide if they want more children and if not, they should be able to tell their husband “no” when he wanted to have sex or use birth control. Stanton believed organized Christianity was sexist, so in 1898, along with Gage, published The Women’s Bible. Stanton’s radical ideas shocked the conservative AMSA members, the reason why Stanton grew unpopular. In 1890, the National American Woman Suffrage merged with the conservative American Woman Suffrage Association. Stanton opposed the merge, but became the first president. Though the two ideas had differing ideas, they both agreed that women should be able to vote.

Stanton died from heart failure on October 26, 1902, 18 years before women were granted the right to vote. Though she almost disappeared from the history books due to her radical views in the late 1800’s, she is gaining popularity as Americans realize that women do deserve to have a happy marriage. At the Capital Rotunda, there is a sculpture of  Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton on display. Stanton’s biggest regret was that she was not able to attend college because she was a woman; her daughters were able to attend college.

Sources:

 Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Women’s Rights