Alice Paul: Women's Suffrage Movement

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Nicole McCray Dr. Davis POL-100 10/08/12 Alice Paul Alice Paul was one of the most significant figures in the movement to secure women’s rights in America. As educated, Paul used radical political strategies to produce favorable results for the Women’s Suffrage movement. Her militant actions eventually led to the ratification of the 19th amendment which secured women’s right to vote. Alice was born in Paulsdale on Jan 11, 1885 to William and Tacie Paul who eventually had two more children after Alice. Alice’s parents were Quakers, and instilled their religious beliefs into her. One of the Quakers’ most notable ideas was the belief in gender equality and the importances of working towards improve society. Her father a successful businessman…show more content…
Graduating from Strathmore College in 1901, Alice later went on to receive additional including earning a PhD. and graduating from a law school. While studying social work in England, she was introduced to more radical ideas in the Women’s Suffrage movement. No longer a timid Quaker girl, Alice became a radical advocate for women’s rights when she met Christabel Pankhurst, one of the daughters of Emmiline Pankhurst. The Pankhurst women were militant suffragist who stood by the notion of “deeds, not words”. This idea meant that women needed to use drastic measures to achieve gender equality because subtle efforts such as petitioning and picketing were not proven to be effective. Alice joined the Pankhurst women and brought attention to the movement landing them front page coverage in local newspapers with their unconventional, yet effective methods such as window smashing and heckling. Alice became a revolutionary which led her to imprisonment and hunger strikes where she was fed under forceful conditions. While imprisoned she remained steadfast and was encouraged by words written upon prison walls: “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to…show more content…
She knew that the radicalism that was exercised in the European suffrage movement was what the American suffrage movement needed in order to make any progress. When Alice was appointed as head of the Congressional Commitee for the National Women's Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1912 she joined forces with Lucy Burns and Crystal Eastman to organize a monumental event in Washington, D.C. that would gain momentum for the Suffrage Movement. On March 3, 1913, Alice, Burns, Eastman and a large body of women participated in an extravagant parade during the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. The parade was led by Inez Milholland, an attractive lawyer socialite, who led the women up Pennsylvania Ave. adorned in Greek robe as she sat upon a white horse. As the women intended, the parade caught the attention of onlookers. Unfortunately, it was primarily negative attention from males who greeted the women with verbal insults as well as physical assaults as they proceeded in the march. As the women were attacked, police did not take action; instead, they stood by and did nothing to protect the suffragist. Although the suffragist endured brutal attacks during this public display, it was successful at gaining national attention for the women's suffrage movement and sparked conversations across the country on

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