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I chose Suffrage Alice Paul who was an American activist and suffragist. She was a woman who led a successful campaign about the women’s suffrage and worked tirelessly hard so as to bring gender equality in the American society, a very important social change aspect in the United States society and history.
Suffragate Alice Paul’s significance to U.S history
In 1913, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and then joined the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA) where she became the chairwoman of their congressional committee in Washington D.C. After the creation of this movement, many activists gained the political knowhow during the abolitionist movement. This movement was somehow sluggish in its nature but later began to reawaken from it.
This in turn emphasized on demands for the equality with their argument being that American politics needed purification because from the way it was, men could no longer do their job. The protests became common with Suffragate Alice Paul leading many parades in the capital and other major cities. Their main aim was passing a conditional amendment that would allow women to have the right to vote. However, the NASWA leader thought that this amendment was not practical thus brought tension between Alice and herself.
In 1916, Alice’s efforts had not born any fruits thus together with her colleagues formed a party known as the National Woman’s Party (NWP). This party would be accompanied by the press coverage and the publication of the weekly suffragist. They staged the first political protest in 1917 with the protest meant to picket the white house. The picketers carried banners demanding the right to vote but in July 1917, the picketers along with Paul were arrested and incarcerated.
While in prison, Alice Paul then started a hunger strike with the aim being protesting against the prison’s conditions. As a result, she was moved to the prison’s psychiatric ward and forced to feed on raw eggs through a feeding tube. This, together with the ongoing demonstrations and attendant press coverage kept the pressure on the Wilson’s administration and in January 1918 Wilson announced that woman suffrage was urgently needed and urged the congress to pass the legislation. In 1920 the nineteenth Amendment to the United States constitution secured the vote for women. (Harrison, 1979)
My name is Alice Paul an American woman who was born in a family of two brothers and one sister. My family always believed in gender equality, educating the women, and working so as to better the society. I was raised as a Quaker and in the year 1922 I studied Law at the Washington College of Law and later went to Strathmore College. I worked at the New York college settlement and in the late 1920’s, I went to work closely with the League of Nations and afterwards with the United Nations. My main aim was struggling so as to achieve equality and the women rights all over the world.
In my mid 20’s, I chaired a major committee of the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA) but after a year, in 1913, I withdrew from NAWSA so as to form Congressional Union for Women Suffrage. Through my leadership this organization evolved into the National Woman’s Party (NWP) in the year 1917.
I took part in many radical protests for women suffrage that included: participation in hunger strikes among others. I brought back the sense of militancy and organized protests and rallies that led to my imprisonment about three times. As I was working with the National Women’s Party (NWP) I emphasized working for a federal constitutional Amendment for suffrage. After winning the federal Amendment in the year 1920, I became active in fighting so as to introduce and pass on Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) this amendment was later passed in 1970. I was very active in the peace movements and at the outbreak of Second World War I stated that if women had helped in ending the First World War, then the Second World War would not have been necessary. After World War two, I helped the Americans that were affected by it in obtaining other American sponsors, obtaining passports and also getting safety travel to the United States. (Joannou, 1998)
In the mid 1950’s, I fought over other women’s rights that included the prohibition of sex discrimination an issue included in the pending civil rights bill. At the age of seventy five years, I ran the National Woman’s Party, (NWP) lobbying campaign so as to push for the addition of a Sex discrimination category to title seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I also protested in rallies that involved women’s rights and fought against the Vietnam War.