Susan B. Anthony

On International Women’s Day and the anniversary of one of Susan B. Anthony’s most famous addresses, it is only fitting that we should look at the life of one of the first great feminists.  Born on February 15, 1820, Anthony was born for a life of activism.  Despite the Quaker background, the Anthony family was a politically active family.  During the Civil War, they worked tirelessly with the Abolitionists for the abolition of slavery.  Once the war ended, the Anthony family turned their attention to the Temperance movement.  This movement is where Susan B. Anthony began her activism.  The fifteen-year-old boldly spoke out in favor of temperance, but was stalled when an anti-alcohol convention refused to let her speak, because she was a woman.  Upset by this unfair treatment, Anthony joined forces with Elizabeth Cady Stanton to create the National Women Sufferage Association.  She realized that women’s voice in politics would never be recognized or heard until women were given the right to vote.  Together, the two woman openly petitioned for women’s suffrage and even published two newspapers for supporters.  Anthony went as far as to vote illegally in a presidential election.  Even though she was fined for this act, Anthony refused to pay the fine or give up her stance.  On March 8, 1884, Anthony stood before the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives to petition for an amendment that would allow women to vote.  Sadly, she would not see the day when such an amendment was passed.  The 19th amendment, which allowed adult women the right to vote, was not passed until fourteen years after her death.  Deciding to remain single, Anthony truly devoted her life and talents to one object: to gain the right to vote.  Even though she never saw the day when women could freely vote, women today cannot help but think of Susan B. Anthony and her commitment to equal rights when they go to the polls.



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