Alice Paul

Alice Paul

Overview
Alice Stokes Paul was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 suffragist and activist. Along with Lucy Burns
Lucy Burns
Lucy Burns was an American suffragist and women's rights advocate. She was a passionate activist in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Burns was a close friend of Alice Paul, and together they ultimately formed the National Woman's Party.-Early life and education:Lucy Burns was born in...

 and others, she led a successful campaign for women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 that resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920....

 in 1920.


Alice Paul received her undergraduate education from Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia....

, and then earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

. Paul received her LL.B from the Washington College of Law
Washington College of Law
American University Washington College of Law is the law school of American University. It is located on Massachusetts Avenue in the Spring Valley neighborhood of northwest Washington. WCL is ranked 50th among law schools by US News and World Report...

 at American University
American University
American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

 in 1922. In 1927, she earned an LL.M, and in 1928, a Doctorate in Civil Laws from American University
American University
American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

.
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Encyclopedia
Alice Stokes Paul was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 suffragist and activist. Along with Lucy Burns
Lucy Burns
Lucy Burns was an American suffragist and women's rights advocate. She was a passionate activist in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Burns was a close friend of Alice Paul, and together they ultimately formed the National Woman's Party.-Early life and education:Lucy Burns was born in...

 and others, she led a successful campaign for women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 that resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920....

 in 1920.

Activism



Alice Paul received her undergraduate education from Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia....

, and then earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

. Paul received her LL.B from the Washington College of Law
Washington College of Law
American University Washington College of Law is the law school of American University. It is located on Massachusetts Avenue in the Spring Valley neighborhood of northwest Washington. WCL is ranked 50th among law schools by US News and World Report...

 at American University
American University
American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

 in 1922. In 1927, she earned an LL.M, and in 1928, a Doctorate in Civil Laws from American University
American University
American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

. Since the Washington College of Law merged with American University more than twenty years after Paul's graduation in 1949, she had the distinction of receiving law degrees from both schools.

Women's Suffrage and the Nineteenth Amendment


After her graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, Paul joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association
National American Woman Suffrage Association
The National American Woman Suffrage Association was an American women's rights organization formed in May 1890 as a unification of the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association...

 (NAWSA) and was appointed Chairwoman of their Congressional Committee in Washington, DC. After months of fundraising and raising awareness for the cause, membership numbers went up in 1913. Their focus was lobbying for a constitutional amendment
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

 to secure the right to vote for women. Such an amendment had originally been sought by suffragists Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony
Susan Brownell Anthony was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President...

 and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement...

 who tried securing the vote on a state-by-state basis.

Paul's methods began to create tension between her and the leader of NAWSA, who felt that a constitutional amendment was not practical for the times. When her lobbying efforts proved fruitless, Paul and her colleagues formed the National Woman's Party
National Woman's Party
The National Woman's Party , was a women's organization founded by Alice Paul in 1915 that fought for women's rights during the early 20th century in the United States, particularly for the right to vote on the same terms as men...

 (NWP) in 1916 and began introducing some of the methods used by the suffrage movement in Britain. The National Woman's Party
National Woman's Party
The National Woman's Party , was a women's organization founded by Alice Paul in 1915 that fought for women's rights during the early 20th century in the United States, particularly for the right to vote on the same terms as men...

 was funded by Alva Belmont
Alva Belmont
Alva Erskine Belmont , née Alva Erskine Smith, also called Alva Vanderbilt from 1875 to 1896, was a prominent multi-millionaire American socialite and a major figure in the women's suffrage movement...

 who was a multi-millionaire socialite at the time. The NWP was accompanied by press coverage and the publication of the weekly Suffragist.

In the US presidential election
United States presidential election, 1916
The United States presidential election of 1916 took place while Europe was embroiled in World War I. Public sentiment in the still neutral United States leaned towards the British and French forces, due to the harsh treatment of civilians by the German Army, which had invaded and occupied large...

 of 1916, Paul and the NWP campaigned against the continuing refusal of President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 and other incumbent Democrats to support the Suffrage Amendment actively. In January 1917, the NWP staged the first political protest to picket the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. The picketers, known as "Silent Sentinels," held banners demanding the right to vote. This was an example of a non-violent civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

 campaign. In July 1917, picketers were arrested on charges of "obstructing traffic." Many, including Paul, were convicted and incarcerated at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia (later the Lorton Correctional Complex) and the District of Columbia Jail.

In a protest of the conditions in Occoquan, Paul commenced a hunger strike
Hunger strike
A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance or pressure in which participants fast as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt in others, usually with the objective to achieve a specific goal, such as a policy change. Most hunger strikers will take liquids but not...

, which led to her being moved to the prison’s psychiatric ward and force-fed
Force-feeding
Force-feeding is the practice of feeding a person or an animal against their will. "Gavage" is supplying a nutritional substance by means of a small plastic tube passed through the nose or mouth into the stomach, not explicitly 'forcibly'....

 raw eggs through a feeding tube. This, combined with the continuing demonstrations and attendant press coverage, kept pressure on the Wilson administration. In January, 1918, Wilson announced that women's suffrage was urgently needed as a "war measure", and strongly urged Congress to pass the legislation. In 1920, after coming down to one vote in the state of Tennessee, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920....

 secured the vote for women.

Equal Rights Amendment


Paul was the original author of a proposed Equal Rights Amendment
Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time...

 to the Constitution in 1923. The ERA would not find its way to the Senate until 1972 when it was approved by the Senate and submitted to the state legislatures for ratification. Approval by 38 states was required to ensure adoption of the amendment. Not enough states — only 35 — voted in favor in time for the deadline. However, efforts to pass the ERA passed by Congress in the 1970s are still afoot, as well as efforts to pass a new equality amendment, and almost half of the U.S. states have adopted the ERA into their state constitutions.

Death



Paul died at the age of 92 on July 9, 1977 at the Quaker Greenleaf Extension Home in Moorestown Township, New Jersey
Moorestown Township, New Jersey
-Demographics:At the 2000 census, there were 19,017 people, 6,971 households, and 5,270 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,287.3 per square mile . There were 7,211 housing units at an average density of 488.1 per square mile...

, near her family home of Paulsdale
Paulsdale
Paulsdale was the birthplace and childhood home of Alice Paul, a leader in the Women's suffrage movement in the United States. The Paul family had purchased and the 1840 farmhouse around 1883. During the 1950s, Paulsdale was divided into two parcels: of farmland and the remaining which included...

. Before that she had a stroke in 1974, which disabled her.

Legacy


Paul created a long legacy of woman’s rights. Her alma mater Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia....

 named the Women's Center and a dormitory in her honor. Montclair State University in New Jersey has also named a building in her honor. Hilary Swank
Hilary Swank
Hilary Ann Swank is an American actress. Swank's film career began with a small part in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then a major part in The Next Karate Kid , as Julie Pierce, the first female protégé of sensei Mr. Miyagi...

, in the HBO 2004 movie Iron Jawed Angels
Iron Jawed Angels
Iron Jawed Angels is a 2004 American drama film. It was directed by Katja von Garnier and starred Hilary Swank, Frances O'Connor, Julia Ormond, and Anjelica Huston. It focuses on the American women's suffrage movement during the 1910s. The film received acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival...

, portrayed Paul during her struggle for passage of the 19th Amendment. Two countries have honored her by issuing a postage stamp: Great Britain in 1981 and the United States in 1995, issuing a 78¢ Great Americans series
Great Americans series
The Great Americans series is a set of definitive stamps issued by the United States Postal Service, starting on December 27, 1980 with the 19¢ stamp depicting Sequoyah, and continuing through 2002, the final stamp being the 78¢ Alice Paul self-adhesive stamp. The series, noted for its simplicity...

 stamp.

Paul is also scheduled to appear on a United States half-ounce $10 gold coin in 2012, as part of the so-called "First Spouse" program. A provision in the Presidential $1 Coin Program (see ) directs that Presidential spouses be honored. As President Chester A. Arthur
Chester A. Arthur
Chester Alan Arthur was the 21st President of the United States . Becoming President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, Arthur struggled to overcome suspicions of his beginnings as a politician from the New York City Republican machine, succeeding at that task by embracing...

 was a widower, Paul is representing Arthur's era.

In 1989, the Alice Paul Centennial Foundation was working to raise the funds needed to purchase the brick farmhouse in Mount Laurel Township where Paul was born.

See also

  • Iron Jawed Angels
    Iron Jawed Angels
    Iron Jawed Angels is a 2004 American drama film. It was directed by Katja von Garnier and starred Hilary Swank, Frances O'Connor, Julia Ormond, and Anjelica Huston. It focuses on the American women's suffrage movement during the 1910s. The film received acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival...

    , 2004 film about Paul, Lucy Burns and their fight resulting in passage of the 19th Amendment.
  • List of civil rights leaders
  • List of suffragists and suffragettes
  • Paulsdale
    Paulsdale
    Paulsdale was the birthplace and childhood home of Alice Paul, a leader in the Women's suffrage movement in the United States. The Paul family had purchased and the 1840 farmhouse around 1883. During the 1950s, Paulsdale was divided into two parcels: of farmland and the remaining which included...

    , birthplace and childhood home of Alice Paul in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey.

External links

(Westfield Friends Burial Ground, Cinnaminson, New Jersey)