Susan B. Anthony and Her Effect on America
“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”(“Susan B. Anthony Quotes-BrainyQuote”) This is a motto that Susan B. Anthony used to influence people as she campaigned for women’s rights. Not only did she work for women’s rights, but she helped bring about the abolition of slavery. Susan Brownell Anthony played a large part in the history of our country.
By assisting with the abolition of slavery and the women’s rights movement, she created a better America and inspired another generation to follow in her footsteps. On February 15, 1820, Susan B. Anthony was born to Daniel and Lucy Anthony, in the town of Adams, Massachusetts. She grew up as a Quaker, with their ideals put into her head. Quakers, such as her family, believed that everyone should be treated equally. Growing up inside this Society of Friends influenced Susan.
Since her father was a sixth generation Quaker, and a strong supporter of equal rights, Anthony had the privilege of being educated, unlike many of the women of her day. She attended at a private Quaker boarding school located at Philadelphia. Her family valued equality for all people and was active in the temperance movement, abolishment of slavery, and women’s rights movement. (“Susan B. Anthony biography”) Being a strong supporter of the abolition of slavery, Susan B. Anthony worked with life-long friend, Elizabeth Staton, to get support of an amendment to free slaves and an amendment to get equal rights for Blacks and women.
After fighting for this amendment, the two were disappointed whenever women were left out of the 14th amendment and the 15th amendment. They had succeeded in giving ex-slaves rights. (“Susan B. Anthony House:: Her Story”) At the age of 26, Susan became the head of the girls’ department at Canajoharie Academy. After two years, she “called for equal educational opportunities for all regardless of race, and for all schools, colleges, and universities to open their doors to women and ex-slaves.” (“Susan B.
Anthony House:: Her Story”) Anthony worked hard to get ex-slave children into public school. She also reformed education for women. Working on the board of trustees, Anthony convinced the University of Rochester to admit women students. She raised a total of $50,000 in pledges to admit the students. (“Susan B. Anthony House:: Her Story”) Susan and her family believed that drinking liquor was a sin and supported the prohibition of alcohol.
While she was head of the girls’ department at Canajoharie Academy, Anthony joined the Daughters of Temperance. The group rose awareness of drunkenness and how it affected the homes of many Americans. While at a dinner for the Daughters of Temperance, Susan gave her first public speech. After being elected head of the Daughters of Temperance at Rochester, she attended a Sons of Temperance convention. After being refused the right to speak because of her gender, she left and called her own meeting where women could freely speak to the public.
Anthony later formed a petition to bring attention to the want for a law restricting the use of alcohol, but the legislature ignored it because most of the signatures were those of women and children. After being criticized for saying that the only way to get the public’s attention was to allow women to vote, she focused her energy on the case of Abbie McFarland. Abbie’s abusive and drunk husband shot the man who Abbie divorced Daniel, her husband, to marry. Susan protested after Daniel was not convicted of murder on the plea of temporary insanity, and he was granted custody of their son. After the case was solved, Susan supported the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, but told them that not much would be accomplished without women having the right to vote. (“Susan B.
Anthony House:: Her Story”) Whenever Susan B. Anthony was working at Canajoharie Academy, she was earning a total of $110 a year. After two years, Anthony went to the state teachers’ convention and spoke with people, trying to get more pay for women in the line of work. Susan once said, “Join the union, girls, and together say Equal Pay for Equal Work.” She was speaking labor unions.
Anthony worked hard in order to get “equal pay for equal work.” In 1868, she printed the first issue of The Revolution. This newspaper was made by people who got paid equally for the same amount of work, despite gender or race. The paper brought Anthony into contact with many women in New York in the printing and sewing industries, allowing her to get support to create the Workingwomen’s Association. As a delegate to the National Labor Congress, Susan convinced the “committee on female labor to call for votes for women and equal pay for equal work, although the men at the conference deleted the reference to the vote.” (“Susan B.
Anthony House:: Her Story”) In 1870, when Anthony finally formed the Workingwomen’s Association, she was elected president. The Association compiled reports on working conditions and worked to get work-shops promoted in The Revolution, which allowed women to be more educated for their job and get better pay, closing the gap between men and women’s paychecks. (“Susan B. Anthony House:: Her Story”) During a meeting for women’s rights, Susan B. Anthony was introduced to Elizabeth Staton, a major leader of the women’s rights movement, by Amelia Bloomer.
Finding that each both shared a wanted to end the discrimination between genders, they founded the American Equal Rights Association. Using Anthony’s paper as a way to reach the public, the two advertised and campaigned to get support for the women’s suffrage movement, the right to vote. In 1869, the Association split. The original busied itself by working to get an amendment passed for suffrage, while the American Suffrage Association aimed at getting the right for women to vote on a state-by-state basis. In the west, Anthony worked tirelessly for women’s rights. She and fifteen others, including three sisters, registered to vote, and all sixteen got arrested for the act.
Of these, Anthony was the first and only one to go to court.(“Famous Feminists”) wanting the case to go to the Supreme Court, she refused to post bail, but her lawyer did so anyway. Convicted and found guilty, Susan refused to pay a cent of the fine and court fees because she had been denied the right to defend herself. Instead of going to jail for refusing to pay, she was denied an appeal.
After this, she spent the next years, 1869-1902, going before every Congress to get support for the women’s suffrage amendment. A group of suffragists got together during this time to compile and publish the History of Woman Suffrage. The final volume was published in 1902. The two suffrage associations were later recombined, with Staton being elected President and Anthony Vice-President. In 1920, all of her hard work paid off whenever Congress made the proposed amendment law and gave women the right to vote.
(“Susan B. Anthony House:: Her Story”) Susan B. Anthony died in 1902 in her home and never got to see the product of her vigorous work. In her last public speech, Anthony said, “Failure is impossible.” (“Susan B.
Anthony biography”) She certainly proved this with her life, defeating all odds and giving women the right to vote in the nineteenth amendment, also known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment. Through her dedication and unfailing perseverance, Anthony inspired a new generation to strive, not only for women’s rights, but for other injustices to be made right. It was impossible for her to fail, as she said, as she fought to abolish slavery, started an education reform, supported the temperance movement, and worked on the side of women to ensure equal treatment and suffrage. (“Famous Feminists”)