Alice Paul

Topics: Women's suffrage, Woodrow Wilson, Suffragette Pages: 8 (929 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Alice Paul was born on January 11,1885,

in Moorestown, New Jersey. Her father, who

died when Alice was sixteen, was a businessman,

banker, and property owner. The Pauls lived in the

small Quaker community of Moorestown. One of

the beliefs of the Quakers was equality of the sexes.

As a young girl, Alice attended the Quaker suffrage

meetings with her mother.

Alice Pauls' father left them enough

money so she could attend the exclusive Swarthmore

College in Pennsylvania. She graduated in 1905 as

a biology major, but after discovering politics in her

senior year, she went on to attend the New York

School of Philanthropy. She majored in sociology,

and spent all of her spare time working for the

woman suffrage in New York.

In 1907, Paul earned a master's degree

in sociolgy. She went to England to continue her

work toward her doctorate degree. She was begin-

ning to realize that she couldn't change the

situation by social work alone, but needed to

change the actual laws. Women had no voice in

either England or America to change any law.

The suffrage movement was different

in England than in the States. British suffragists

had begun wild women protests in 1905. They

would sneak into male political meetings, and

disrupt the meetings by shouting questions, wave

banners and be arrested.

As Alice Paul became more involved

with the Women's Social and Political Union, she

was warned of possible imprisonment. This threat

did not prevent her from sneaking into political

events. She was arrested ten times in England,

three of which ended in prison time. While in

prison, she continued to protest the government's

refusal to let women vote or speak publicly, by

not eating. She was force-fed for four weeks.

She returned to America in 1910, where

she continued her studies and her suffrage work.

She brought back from England with her the same

tactics used to get the attention of the newspapers

and the government. She brought the wild suffragette

movement back to the United States.

She teamed up with Lucy Burns, who

she spent prison time with in England. They went

to the National American Women Suffrage

Association and proposed forming a committee to

lobby congressmen for a national suffrage

ammendment. They were named president and

vice president but were told they would have to

raise their own funds.

They began by organizing a volunteer

network then decided to bid for national attention.

Their first appearance as a committee was a

celebration parade for the inauguration of President

Woodrow Wilson. This would certainly be heard

throughout the nation. In just a few weeks they

had over 8,000 marchers representing states, colleges,

and even some other nations. They included 26 floats

depicting women's lives and hardships. This was

the first procession of women in our nation for

any cause. This parade caused so much excitement

that it brought the women suffrage movement into

the headlines. By that summer both houses of

congress were discussing women suffrage.

Alice Paul then began publishing a

weekly newspaper, The Suffragist, in November of

1913. In the issues to follow they spoke of injustice

and the laws affecting the interest of women.

In April 1916, the National Women's

Party was established as a political party. This party

did not endorse any candidate but only woman

suffrage. The Democrats and Republicans were

beginning to realize the women's votes could

definitely influence the...
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