Interesting Facts About Alice Paul: The Suffragist and Feminist

Alice Paul was not only a feminist, she was also a suffragist, women’s rights activist and key leader in the 19th Amendment campaigns. Therefore, yes, you can say she’s a Woman That Does.
She is well-known for her contribution to the 1910s campaign to make sex discrimination in voting prohibited. She was born on January 11th, 1885 in New Jersey, to Tacie Paul and William Mickle Paul I. Alice was a descendant of Pennsylvania’s Quaker founder William Penn.
Alice Paul was raised to believe that all people are equal in God’s eyes. Her mother inspired her to become in women’s suffrage. Alice graduated top of her class and went on to graduate from Swarthmore College in 1905 with a degree in Biology.
She went on to earn her M.A. in 1907 after studying economics, sociology, and political science. She eventually earned a law degree and Doctorate in Civil Laws.
However, she doesn’t get enough credit for all her work. So, here’s a breakdown of ELEVEN interesting facts about Alice Paul that you might not already know.
1. Alice Paul was arrested seven times and jailed three times while she was associated with the Women’s Social and Political Union.
2. Alice Paul introduced the first Equal Rights Amendment in 1923 in Congress. The amendment was never ratified but she did succeed in having an equal rights affirmation added to the United Nations charter.
3. After serving with the National Woman Suffrage Association Alice became frustrated with some of their policies. Together with Lucy Burns she helped form the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage.
4 . In 1917 Alice Paul participated in a group called the Silent Sentinels and picketed the White House. She served time in October and November for her role in picketing. Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States during this time.
5. Alice Paul dedicated her life to suffrage and did not marry or have children. She may have been proposed to by William Parker in 1917 but it is not known for a fact.
6. Alice Paul played a major role in the 1920 constitution change referred to as the 19th Amendment in which women won the right to vote.
7. In 1974 Alice Paul suffered a stroke but continued to fight for women’s rights despite being debilitated.
8. She’s still inspiring the fight for women’s rights. Even after her death, Alice Paul is influencing big changes. The Alice Paul Institute was founded in 1985 in honor of Paul and continues to encourage young girls to take on leadership roles and continue to speak out for Paul’s vision of equality.
9. Paul’s persona as a leader combined stereotypically feminine and masculine traits in a way that invited fervent loyalty or deep-seated antipathy. Her dislike of the spotlight and ingrained modesty lent her a vulnerability which undercut concerns about her militant past and her powerful drive. Others found her charismatic authority threatening.
10. Alice Paul was not present during the frenzied effort to make Tennessee the ratifying state for the suffrage amendment. She longed to be at the Tennessee statehouse, but NWP lobbying required a constant input of cash. Her ability to raise funds surpassed anyone else’s, so she chose to stay in Washington to keep the money flowing. Paul’s ability to raise funds was a key factor in the success of the NWP.
11. Paul endured forced feeding fifty-five times in London’s Holloway Prison in 1909 and perhaps another twenty-five times while at the District of Columbia’s Jail in 1917. Authorities used forced feeding to break the hunger strikes initiated by suffrage prisoners. Some women suffered health problems as a result. Alice Paul struggled with digestive issues for years after and may have lost her sense of smell.

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