Born in 1820 in Massachusetts, Susan B. Anthony was a social activist and one of the key members of the women’s suffrage movement of 1920s. Anthony’s role as a reformer in the movement was unparalleled.
From a very young age, Susan Anthony worked for social justice and equality. At the age of 17, she gained a reputation for collecting anti-slavery petitions and appeals, which placed her in the midst of the American anti-slavery movement. She worked as a key representative of the American Anti-slavery society in New York.
Susan B. Anthony founded multiple societies and organizations in support of the minorities and in challenge of the patriarchal mind-set of that time. In 1852, she founded the New York State Temperance Society, following an event where she was disallowed from speaking at a Temperance conference due to her gender. In 1863, she established the Women’s Loyal National League which gathered over 400,000 signatures calling for the ending of slavery in the States.
A few years later, in 1866, Anthony began the campaign of American Equal Rights Association along with other prominent female activists, with the sole purpose of gaining equality for African Americans and women. By 1868 they had established a newspaper called ‘The Revolution’ which prided itself for being a women’s right publication.
In 1890, the formal National American Woman Suffrage Association was born after some disputes and contentions within the former National Woman Suffrage Association and American woman suffrage association.
Susan B. Anthony was a key member of the NAWSA and represented the organization at all events. In 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting in her hometown in Rochester, at a time when women weren’t allowed to vote. However, no further action was taken apart from a public trial and a fine.
In 1878, Anthony, along with her confidante and fellow-social activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented a proposal to Congress through Senator Aaron A. Sargent, giving women the right to vote. This proposal was later posthumously incorporated in the constitution as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, approved as the 19th Amendment in 1920.
Susan B. Anthony died in 1906 at the age of 86 leaving an exceptional legacy behind as a pivotal advocate of women’s rights.
Author: Amita Vadlamudi
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