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Susan B. Anthony: Journey to Equality

Written by Aman


“Citizens of the U.S. are lawfully entitled to enfranchisement, and the certitude right to elect whatever official individual to office they shall choose.” Despite the promise of these rights, women were not endowed this assurance. For this reason, one woman named Susan B. Anthony defied the law that only male individual(s) shall accustom suffrage rights. Today, female citizens are guaranteed the right to vote, legislative campaigning, a fair trial and to serve on a jury. Susan B. Anthony’s presence was notable in the women rights, temperance, and abolition movements. As a result of the work done by Susan B. Anthony and others, women are promised these rights by the passing of the 19th amendment.


Protests, Speeches and Foundations


Susan B. Anthony changed society’s standards of women and developed an idea of woman suffrage that resulted in the creation of the 19th amendment. She differentiated the thoughts on woman rights, as well. Anthony gave speeches, and protested for woman rights by taking the matter personally, and illegally voting in a presidential election in 1872. She was then later on arrested and fined $100, which angered many people because Judge Hunt, the judge who ruled Susan guilty, had “outraged the rights of Susan B. Anthony…” as a Utica, New York paper stated. The issue brought increased attention to the woman suffrage movement. Susan stated “Rights are not something that the government owned and gave out to people…belong to each of us…people are born with rights. Governments are formed to protect those rights.” In 1876, she led a protest at the Centennial of our nation’s independence, in which she gave a speech written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage. This speech was titled the “Declaration of Rights.” Earlier in 1869, along with Stanton, Anthony formed the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which was founded by joining (two) groups called “National Woman Suffrage Association” and “American Woman Suffrage Association.” The first president of NAWSA was Elizabeth Stanton, which later on was Anthony who adopted the role as the second president.


Hardships, Struggles and Support


In order to get the rights women are acquired with today, Anthony was inflicted with hardships and struggles on her journey through the women’s rights movement. Although many people (male citizens as well as women citizens) questioned and opposed her work, Anthony grew up in a politically active family who supported her and accompanied her with her work on abolition. Since Susan grew up a Quaker, her beliefs were based on that religion. Quakers believed that everyone is equal under God, which motivated her towards the equal rights movements she held protests and speeches for. Her work was not only for women suffrage, but also for equal pay. At the time, women were paid less than men for the reason of their gender. Susan stated “Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.” Susan B. Anthony worked 50-60 years of her life dedicated to woman rights along with other movements, of which sadly were not fulfilled until 14 years after she died. Nevertheless, her wishes were fulfilled with time, and the rights she worked hard to get, were earned and are protected for women by law.


Legacy and Impact


Susan B. Anthony’s legacy was left to inspire others, both women and men alike. In 1856, Anthony began working for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She worked for the society until the Civil War’s start. After the Civil War’s end, in the Reconstruction Era, she brought her attention towards women’s rights. She and Elizabeth Stanton founded the AERA (American Equal Rights Association) in 1866, which had the motto of the same rights to be “granted to all regardless of race or gender.” In 1868, Stanton and Anthony created a publication called The Revolution, a weekly newspaper that was lobbying the cause of woman rights. Even in her old age, she never gave up the fight for enfranchisement to women. When Theodore Roosevelt was president, she met with him to discuss the matter (of woman suffrage), and to ensure an amendment be passed in name of that, allowing the women citizens of America to vote. 14 years after her death, in 1920, the 19th amendment was finally passed. The recognition of Anthony’s hard work was put on dollar coins, in the sense that her portrait was on the currency. Her legacy left an impact of the amendment that changed society’s standards and allowed women to vote. She helped with abolition, temperance and equality. As Susan B. Anthony put it “Liberty, Humanity, Justice, Equality.”


Citizens of the U.S. are lawfully entitled to suffrage, although women did not fit into that category. Only male individual(s) were granted these rights, and when no one would speak up, Susan B. Anthony did. Susan gave speeches, held protests, and founded several organizations directing attention towards women rights. No matter how long the journey would take, Anthony was up for the challenge and her dedication impacted the U.S. today. She raised questions, and got male and female individuals thinking “Are you a citizen if you can’t vote?” Her legacy and disciplined attitude supported the fight for the passing of the 19th amendment. Although Susan faced obstacles such as being fined, arrested, and mistreated for her beliefs, her work didn’t go to waste. Today, female citizens are guaranteed the right to vote, legislative campaigning, a fair trial and to serve on a jury. Anthony paved the way for these rights, and as she put it, “Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”

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