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Paul, Alice (1885–1977)

Carol Klimick Cyganowski

Subject History » Women's History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Northern America » United States of America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics bibliography, revolution, rights

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01165.x


Alice Paul brought to the US woman suffrage movement many radical tactics of the British movement: marches, outdoor public meetings, disruption, picketing, refusal to pay fines to avoid jail terms, prison disobedience, hunger strikes, and holding responsible the party in power. Acting to influence US circumstances, Paul developed prototype strategies for civil rights protest: non-violent demonstrations, passive resistance, picketing the White House and Congress, using media coverage to provoke public opinion over assaults against demonstrators and brutality against prisoners. Thanks partly to this awakening, public outrage repeatedly pushed forward the Nineteenth Amendment. After suffrage, Paul's National Woman's Party (NWP) pursued women's equality through federal and state laws. She authored and fought for the first US Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and worked for women's rights internationally. Born into an affluent Quaker family committed to social good, gender equality, and education, Paul was raised by a mother who was a member of the largest national suffrage association (NAWSA). Her grandfather was a founder of co-educational Swarthmore College, which Paul attended, graduating in 1905. She went on to the University of Pennsylvania for an MA in sociology (1907), joining NAWSA but intending to pursue change through social work. Paul began professional life as a child of her ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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