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Anthony, Susan B. (1820–1906)

Amy Linch


Susan B. Anthony was a crucial force in the 72-year struggle for women's suffrage in the United States. She spent nearly sixty years as an activist, organizer, and lecturer, initially in support of legal protection for women and the abolition of slavery, and later in single-minded dedication to women's suffrage. As an abolitionist, she called for an end to white male dominance and practical realization of the ideals expressed in the United States founding documents. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, she argued, were based on the universal principle of inalienable natural rights. It was not the prerogative of white men to retain these rights for themselves alone; all women and African American men were entitled to full political participation. In the wake of the Civil War , codification of an explicitly male citizenship through the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution led Anthony and her lifelong associate, Elizabeth Cady Stanton , to focus solely on women's rights . Their organization, the National Women's Suffrage Association (1869), represented the radical wing of the suffrage movement, endorsing a broad platform of political and social reforms that addressed the condition of working-class and poor women. Anthony's commitment to women's equal rights never wavered, but over time suffrage increasingly trumped comprehensive social reform ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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