Susan B. Anthony October 18, 2004 US History from 1877 Grand View College The word feminist can be though of in many ways. Some people can hear the word in a positive way, and think of it as a woman standing up for her gender’s rights. Other people can think of it in a negative way, as a woman who is too high strung and opinionated. The word feminist is actually a female who has opinions on the way her sex is treated.
Modern feminism will be discussed, along with using some examples such as Susan B. Anthony. As to the history of feminism, the beginning will be with what is called the “Feminist Revolution” (Rappaport 28).
This revolution began in 1837 in New York. Women banded together for the first time at an anti-slavery convention.
These women were considered “abolitionists” after being humiliated at a conference in Britain for being unladylike. Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. This conference demanded woman suffrage, equality for wives, and the right to practice any profession they chose. Some feminists include Elizabeth Blackwell, Sojourner Truth, Emma Willard, Frances Wright, Mrs. Stanton, Ms. Mott, Mrs.
Adams, and Susan B. Anthony. A brief moment should be spent on a few of the notable women. It started with Emma Willard; she opened up the door for girls to get the same education as boys.
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She opened schools for females only. Following her is Elizabeth Blackwell. Ms. Blackwell pushed open the doors for women to be professionals. She became the first woman doctor to earn her MD in 1849 (Archer 47).
Francis Wright was a Scottish-American reformer who advocated equal education for women.
She once stated, “Unless women assume the place in society which good sense and good feeling alike assign to them, human improvement must advance feebly.” Her words gave influence to women to earn their first college education. Other than Ms. Anthony there are three very notable women: Mrs. Elizabeth Cody Stanton, Mrs. Sojourner Truth, and Mrs.
John Adams. The three ladies advanced the movement so far that, without them, women would not be anywhere near the liberty of today. Mrs. Stanton began the revolution of women; and also started the Women’s Rights Conventions. It was at one of these conventions in 1851 that a freed black female slave named Sojourner Truth spoke. It was probably the most famous speech ever remembered at these conventions.
It was called “Ain’t I A Woman” (Linthwaite 673).
The other most remembered statement made by a lady was by Mrs. Abigail Adams, in March of 1776 (Weisberg, preface).
Her statement was in a letter to her husband about writing the Constitution. John Adams was then a delegate to the Continental Congress. Abigail Adams’s statement was as follows: “Remember the ladies.
Be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such limited power in the hands of the husbands. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” This statement was the motto and main motive of what was to come in the future. Susan B. Anthony’s influences came from her family, friends, and acquaintances. Starting with her family, are her parents.
Her father, a Quaker, courted Susan’s mother, a Baptist (Weisberg 23).
The unorthodox match was opposed, but the two married anyway. Mrs. Anthony switched faith to become a Quaker. She gave up all the worldly pleasures endowed to her like singing, dancing, and stylish clothes.
... allowed women to vote. Susan was honored on July 2, 1979, when the United States issued the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. "Susan B. Anthony." ... early 1800's girls were not allowed an education. Susan's father, Daniel, believed in equal treatment for boys and girls ... and allowed her to received her education from a private boarding school ...
Susan’s mother was Lucy Read, and her father was Daniel Anthony. Mr. and Mrs. Anthony were married in 1817. Over the next sixteen years, the pair would bear eight children, of which six lived. The children were Gu elma, Susan, Hannah, Daniel, Mary, Eliza, and Merritt.
Ann Eliza, born between Mary and Merritt died in infancy in 1833. Ms. Anthony moved several times. Some of these times were when she was young and still living at home; and yet more were after she had grown up and moved away.
Susan B. Anthony and her family managed to stay around the states of New York and Pennsylvania. Susan B. Anthony was a well-educated and extremely intelligent woman. Her grandmother decided to teach Susan and her sisters to read. Ms.
Anthony started to read at the age of four. “Susan, already noted for her quick mind and eager curiosity was delighted” (Weisberg 25).
Ms. Anthony was soon at school. She outgrew the one-room schoolhouse at Battenville in terms of its resources. She once said, “I studied arithmetic and wanted to learn long division, but the teacher didn’t know enough to teach me.” Susan B.
Anthony then joined her sister at boarding school, which was 300 miles away from Battenville. The school was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Daniel Anthony, her father, escorted her there in November of 1837. The trip took a week and included on the trip to Albany, New York, an open, horse-drawn cart, and a steamboat. From there, the father and daughter took a ferry, a train, a canal boat, and a stagecoach (Weisberg 30).
This trip to school in 1837, was soon to be followed by a severe financial depression in the year of 1838.
Ms. Anthony’s school days ended abruptly. Her father’s business had been ruined, and the family fortune was gone. The family home had to be sold and she had to leave the school.
Susan B. Anthony had many jobs and occupations before becoming a feminist leader, but stayed focused on two main jobs; those being either a teacher or a governess. Starting her profession in the spring of 1838, Susan was a teacher in a neighboring town. She stayed at this school for two years. In the spring of 1840, she left to teach at a boarding school in New Rochelle. The fall of 1840, she left her teaching position to take a teaching job in a school district near her home and family.
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Ms. Anthony then skipped around over the next few years, moving from job to job, working as either a teacher or governess (Weisberg 34).
As for the lifestyle of Ms. Susan B. Anthony, all that can be said is that she was conservative and dignified. Ms.
Anthony was seen extensively because of her public speaking (Weisberg 19).
The comment made of her apparel was: Miss Anthony was fashionably dressed in black silk… with flowing sleeves, a broad, graceful lace collar, with gold necklace and pendant. Her abundant hair was bushed back and bound in a knot after the fashion of our grandmothers.
Ms. Anthony’s style of dress was also founded on her public speaking. It was said that when making a speech she should dress loosely, take a great deal of exercise, be particular about your diet, and sleep (Weisberg 49).
This advice helped in the presentation of herself and of her ideas. Susan B.
Anthony had strong opinions and attitudes. While everyone has some disagreeable opinions, most of hers were good. Ms. Anthony’s views on alcohol were decent. She had an attitude towards temperance and abstinence of alcohol (Weisberg 10).
There were an appalling number of battered and abused wives and children, by drunken husbands and fathers.
Ms. Anthony also had s trong opinions on women’s rights, , and these opinions came forth after the Civil War had ended. Ms. Anthony was considered to be a troublemaker because of her opinions, and was almost stopped in the crusade for equal political rights (Smith 68).
Anthony did not have much free time. She was too busy and preoccupied to play around. She still had a few moments to herself though and she enjoyed them immensely. Susan B. Anthony’s childhood enjoyment stemmed from going for walks with her sisters in the Berkshire Hills, or they might pick wildflowers. “She was enchanted with nature and could sit in wonder over the workings of a community of insects or nursing a wounded bird back to flight” (Barry 11).
In the winter, Ms. Anthony would play in the deep snow or run out to catch snowflakes. When Susan was in school, she would go for sleigh rides with other students or go on field trips to Philadelphia’s Academy or Arts and Sciences. Ms.
Anthony had plenty of personal involvement. She endured many hardships to obtain legal equality for no just women but also for other races and ethnic groups. Ms. Anthony started the feminist movement with Mrs. Cady Stanton by registering to vote on November 1, 1872. She was arrested for this act 17 days later on November 18 th.
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She refused to pay the $1500 bail, and had it raised to $3000. She also tried to serve a Habeas Corpus, but the judge would not let her. The trial for her crime was set in June of 1873. There was a jury, but the judge decided the verdict. Judge Ward Hunt permitted testimony to be given, but still ordered the jury to find Susan B. Anthony guilty.
She was then ordered to pay $100 and court costs. She refused to pay this also. The judge would not allow her to be put in jail, and the case was adjourned (Smith 72).
Anthony was not only fighting for women’s suffrage, but for universal legal equality for everyone. Ms. Susan B. Anthony was an abolitionist. Listening to anti-slavery activists who gathered at her father’s family farm, Susan heard horror stories about the abuse of black people on the plantations of the south.
She was heartened to learn about the Underground Railroad and the informal network of abolitionists who secretly helped fugitives to safety (Weisberg 35).
This part of her childhood influenced her to fight on behalf of everyone, not just her sex. Ms. Anthony went everywhere on her campaign for equality. She went from state to state continually, only stopping for the National Women’s Convention every year in Washington DC. At these conventions, she would speak to the Senate and to the House of Representatives (Barry 276).
She was often described as stern, cold, hard, and severe. She was actually just a woman fighting for a cause. In the Declaration of Independence it states that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” This was a radical statement for women’s suffrage in 1848 (Hammer 54).
This statement was based on a principle that nearly divided the nation. The rights that were being fought for were the rights of women to be able to divorce, vote, equality in education and employment, and the right to own property. One statement made by Susan B.
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Anthony on the subject was: Do you not see that so long as society says a woman in incompetent to be a lawyer, minister, or doctor, but has ample ability to be a teacher, that every man of you who chooses this profession tacitly acknowledges that he has no more brains than a woman. And this, too, is the reason that teaching is less a lucrative profession, as there men must compete with the cheap labor of women (Hammer 65).
The results of Ms. Anthony’s suffrage efforts were beginning to grow increasing support from women wherever she traveled. Local suffrage groups emerged across the country also for the National American Women Suffrage Association with a powerful voice in Washington DC. It was not until after Ms.
Anthony’s death in her eighties that the Nineteenth amendment to the US Constitution was ratified which states that “the right of citizens of the United States or any state shall not be denied or abridged by the United States on any account on sex.” Susan B. Anthony had won her case! Unfortunately, it was fourteen years after her death, so she never got to celebrate. There have been many feminist achievements since 1906. There are also many feminists out there. Some of these people are: Mae West, an entertainer; Katherine Hepburn, an actress; Karen Horney, a psychoanalyst; Althea Gibson, a tennis champion; and many more.
All of these women have contributed to the cause. Women working together accomplished modern feminism. They were striving for a single cause, equality. Women are still aiming for that today, but are much closer than they were in 1906. Susan B. Anthony made a giant leap when she voter in the year of 1872.
For that, she is to be commended and honored. In fact, she is the only woman in modern times to be honored on the face of our currency. The Susan B. Anthony coin was minted in 1979. The coin, worth one dollar, has eight sides, with because of it’s very unique design was immediately both a collector’s item, but impractical for modern day usage in vending machines. Therefore, even though trying to honor her, the coin was actually in circulation for a very brief period of time, therefore not really too well used.
Feminism had evolved into a fight for women’s economic rights and most recently into women’s reproductive rights. Our current fight over birth control methods and education was began by Margaret Sanger who tried to introduce birth control in the United States in the 1940’s. She was told not to teach this subject to women, but she refused to comply and was arrested. She eventually won her trial and the age of birth control started. Women today can choose to attend or belong to many different types of groups with can discuss or promote women’s issues. There are even classes and complete fields of study in colleges about women’s issues.
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The suffrage movement seems to have turned on women and away from men. There is more of a fight over moral issues and less about rights. Susan B. Anthony once said, “Failure is impossible.” Today’s suffrage efforts are continuing with her drive and now have a larger base of support. When today’s suffragists speak to the House or Senate, they at least can address women as well as men in these bodies. This is what Ms.
Anthony wanted to accomplish. Works Cited Archer, Jules, Breaking Barriers New York: Penguin Group, 1991. Barry, Kathleen, Susan B. Anthony New York: New York University Press, 1998. Du by, George, A History of Women London, Belknap Press, 1993. Hanmer, Trudy J.
Taking a Stand Against Sexism and Sex Discrimination Sydney: Franklin Watts, 1990. Linthwaite, Ilona, Ain’t I A Woman Auckland: Bedrock Books, 1993. Michelson, Maureen, Women and Work Korea: New Sage Press, 1951. Rappaport, Doreen, American Women: Their Lives In Their Words New York: Crowell Junior Books, 1990. Smith, Margaret Chase, Gallant Women Toronto: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1968. Weisberg, Barbara, Susan B.
Anthony/Woman Suffragist Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1988.