Alice Paul and the Women’s Suffrage Movement

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Alice Paul was born on January 11, 1885 in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. She had died at the age of 92 on July 9, 1977. Her parents are William Mickle Paul I and Tacie Parry. She was the eldest of four siblings, Helen, Parry and William Paul raised into a wealthy Quaker family. Her Quaker roots were an underlying cause in her belief of equality between male and female. Her occupation is a suffragist.(a person advocating the extension of suffrage, especially to women.)Not many women have done a suffrage movement quite like that of Alice Paul. Alice and her siblings were raised with the principle that every individual carried equal weight. As well as her parents advocation of education for women, gender equality, and general reformation for society. Later, Alice's father passed away while she was at the age of sixteen. The money he left to his family helped contribute to her schooling in a nearby Moorestown. She attended and graduated Swarthmore College founded by her grandfather with a degree in biology in 1905. Nextly, Alice studied at New York School of Philanthropy, presently Columbia University, graduating with a master arts degree in sociology in 1907. Following her graduation she took to study abroad in England. Once returning home, Alice earned her PHD at the University of Pennsylvania in 1910. However her schooling may be impressive, while Alice Paul studied abroad in England from 1906 to 1909 did she start in the women's suffrage movement begin. Paul became deeply involved in the British women's suffrage movement. She became a frequent member of marches and rallies, as well becoming involved with the Women's Social and Political Union or for shorter terms, the WSPU.

Thus, began Alice Paul's fascination and beginning to a long-running dedication to the women's suffrage movement. She began humbly, selling suffragist magazines on street corners. However, was faced with heavy opposition to her cause.

This along with teachings of many female influencers, began Paul's perspective on the movement of her cause. Asking politely for basic human rights was not only a crime of indecency, but would be a fruitless effort nonetheless.

A critical event in Alice's timeline was meeting Lucy Barns, a fellow women's suffragist from America as well. Lucy Barns would later become an influential figure in the movement, alongside Alice Paul to plan peaceful rallies in the name of the WSPU. In effect, Alice Paul and Lucy Barnes became rising members in the organization with the advantage of a fighting spirit, wits, and extreme dedication to the cause.

On the way, other names emerged. Such as mother and daughter pairing Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst. Often this duo used violent means to achieve their point in the women's suffrage movement, who led in many militant suffrage movements. Later in the future of the movement, Emmeline and Christabel planned to spread the movement in the direction of Scotland with Lucy and Alice to accompany them.

The next event planned by the Women's Social and Political Union was to protest a speech given by the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sir Edward Grey, an influential figure in the battle to win women's right to vote. Sir Edward Grey's campaign consisted of his plans to propose to legislation. Alice Paul disrupted his speech, speaking with her concerns for equality and legislation for women. Alice Paul's outbreak marked the first of numerous arrests in her career.

Alice was imprisoned due to her disruption of the Minister's speech, however she took comfort in both the fact that she now had the vote of sympathy on her side as well as solace in the knowledge her movement was taking impact to the general populace. After her release, Paul stood above to address the people and was regarded as a symbol for women. She was force to return to the streets and was arrested once more, again winning the vote from the people.

Paul's first two arrests were only stepping stones to even more elaborate and crafty efforts to raise more and more attention to women's suffrage. Alice Paul and fellow suffragist, Amelia Brown, planned a WSPU response to the mayor's banquet on November 9, 1909. The pair, disguised as domestic staff, entered the building and took their stand, smashing glass and crying their decrees.

Again, Alice Paul was arrested with her Amelia Brown. The women waived their rights to pay the release fine and remained under intensive labor for one month for the damages incurred on the house.

In total, Alice Paul was arrested seven, but only imprisoned three afterwards. Even if locked away, Paul's extreme determination was not marred. She proceeded with her efforts in hunger striking. Paul had gathered quite the reputation of a civil anarchist and quite the disobedient citizen.

However, hunger-striking, undergone by suffragists, was often met with force-feeding and tactics of the such. Blooming from this mistreatment, was additional coverage from the press and again, sympathy and attention from citizens.

A severe negative brought forth from consecutive hunger strikes was Alice Paul's contraction of gastritis, an inflammation in the lining of the stomach. This left a permanent effect on Alice Paul's extended health.

With all her ordeals, struggles, and many arrests in London, Alice Paul was finally set to return home to the United States with her friend Lucy Barns, and expand their movement to the States. However, as she returned to her home after three years in Britain, she was armoured with newly-learned tactics from WSPU and it's members. One commonly used practice was the organized gathering of masses to a political event.

As Lucy Barns and Alice Paul left behind the Women's Social and Political Union in England they adopted the NAWSA or the National American Women's Suffrage Association once they moved to Washington.

As Paul was obviously dedicated to her cause, almost to the near point her very soul was bound to her movement, however there were stirs within party itself. Alice often clashed opinions with the head of NAWSA, Carrie Chapman Catt. Catt and Paul often disagreed on methods to attain suffrage. As previously stated, Alice Paul often took to a more visible and tangible approach to make her voice heard.

Even though, she has disagreed with here and there, her riveting experiences in England spread well. Again, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were seen as a laughing stock by NAWSA due to her differing methodology and was eventually ex-communicated.

Before so, Alice Paul made efforts to contribute to a bigger project, the Women's Suffrage Procession of 1913, just a day before hand of the inauguration of president Woodrow Wilson. Alice and the collective eight-thousand women like her drew together to influence the soon-to be president's speech.

There was significant opposition to the specific route the protest would be taken, but Alice's first choice of route was followed. Sadly, this wasn't the first of complications to come. Police protection for protestors was lacking severely.

Like many aspects of Alice Paul's life she found a silver lining to one of many grey clouds. As she was removed from the NAWSA. In a time when women were limited to the house and excluded from the outside world, Alice Paul and a group of women like her stood together in the name of sisterhood and women's right to vote. Alice Paul was outstanding. She fought through a long and tedious struggle of the women's suffrage movement and the blood, sweat, and tears poured into making it. Her influence is still alive and well into today. As voters line up to their respective ballots, women in particular, owe special homage to Alice Paul. To truly understand the triumph and tragedy of Alice Paul, one must go deeper into the earlier aspects of her life that lead and influence the political movement that opened the door to nineteenth amendment that equalized the voting ballots to all American constituents, regardless of sex.

Alice Paul has not only changed the lives of Women in her time but in mine to today. To this day women can vote and women are created equal to men. It is because of women like her that I will be able to vote next year. You have to be very brave to stand up for what's right instead of not doing anything for what's wrong. She had loads of people against her. All different types of people against her. I bet at time she felt a little intimidated by the people with the opposite opinion. She helped with the making the nineteenth amendment which prohibits sex discrimination.

The 19th amendment is a great number one source! It made history, and changed the United states! It gave women a voice. It gave us a place. It ended protest. There were so many protest during this time and this helped stop them. Both senate and congress had to pass the vote. It made women more politically active. Women were working more on receiving better education have fewer children. She fought so hard with other women. With all the protest like the ones outside the white house protesting for a sentence in the constitution so that the right vote should not be denied by the US or state whether male or female.

Womens suffrage poster of 1915 is also a number one source! The poster declares that if a women is responsible for taking care of her family, then she you have the right in politics to protect them. It say that the women is responsible for the cleanlyness of their home, wholeness of the food, the health of her children, and above all, is responsible for their morals, for their sense of truth, of honesty and decency, for what they turn out to be. Since women play such a big role they should at least have the right to vote. On the poster is says THE CITY can do itthe CITY GOVERNMENT that is elected BY THE PEOPLE, to take care of the interest of THE PEOPLE. and I just think that this is a very important point because it is saying if the people come together to vote and make an impact the city that they can make a difference for the interest of the people, which is the way it should be except every gender is allow to vote and that is what Alice Paul and other suffragist stood for. They talk about how women do not elect things men do. Therefore the women aren't responsible for the unclean houses, and unhealthy children, men are! Men are responsible for the conditions at which the children live, but they hold the women responsible for the results of those conditions.

Alice paul was amazingly brave women! She had to go through so much hatred by challenging people every day until august 18, 1920. I could have only imagine how challenging the suffragist life was back when women weren't created equal. I also wonder how great it would have felt to have taken part of this movement and created history. With the topic triumph and tragedy I think this topic fits very well because she had gone through some and times before women were equal and after she had a bunch of success. I mean not everyone gets to add something to the constitution. It's a big deal. As a women now I appreciate women like her because we could be still not equal if she hadn't stuck up for women.

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Alice Paul and the Women's Suffrage Movement. (2019, Aug 12). Retrieved July 19, 2024 , from

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