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5 Notable Women of the Suffrage Movement

By    |   Monday, 11 Jan 2016 06:38 PM

When the 19th Amendment was finally ratified in 1920, the landmark piece of legislation gave women in the U.S. voting rights for the first time.

Securing women's right to vote was a long struggle beginning in the mid-19th century, and many women made history during the suffrage movement thanks to their savvy, their intelligence, and their determination.

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Here are five of them:

1. Susan B. Anthony (1920-1906)

Anthony is perhaps the most famous of the suffragettes. According to Biography.com, "Anthony was denied a chance to speak at a temperance convention because she was a woman, and later realized that no one would take women in politics seriously unless they had the right to vote." From this point on, she would fight the struggle for women’s rights until her death in 1906 at age 86.

Just before her death, Anthony told friend Anna Shaw, “To think I have had more than 60 years of hard struggle for a little liberty, and then to die without it seems so cruel.” Although she would not live to see it, her struggle would pay off in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified.

2. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

Stanton’s biggest claim to fame was organizing the first women’s rights convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. In 1863, along with Anthony, Stanton formed the National Women’s Loyal League, and 1855, the National Woman Suffrage Association. She was known for her "advocacy of liberal divorce laws and reproductive self-determination," History.com wrote.

3. Lucretia Mott (1793-1880)

Mott’s political career took flight in 1833 when she helped found the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society. "Her dedication to equality at all levels included her social as well as her political life; the Motts were enormously popular hosts who seemed perpetually to have a houseful of guests of both races," according to American National Biography Online.

Mott eventually involved herself more in women’s issues, joining with Stanton to organize the first women’s rights convention. Later in life, "She urged the development of women's mental powers and their admission into the professions and promoted reform of all laws that were detriments to women's access to equal property rights, education, and the like," ANB said.

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4. Alice Paul (1885–1977)

Paul was president of the National Women’s Party and played a key role in the women’s rights movement. According to Biography.com, known for "using provocative visual media to make their point, NWP members known as the 'Silent Sentinels' picketed the White House under the Woodrow Wilson administration in 1917, making them the first group to take such action. Paul was jailed in October and November of that year as a result of the protests.”

5. Lucy Burns (1879-1966)

Burns was highly educated, having attended both Vassar College and Yale University. Along with Paul, Burns created the Congressional Union for Women’s Suffrage. Burns also has the designation of spending more time in jail than in any other suffragist, having been arrested six times.

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Securing women's right to vote was a long struggle beginning in the mid-19th century, and many women made history during the suffrage movement thanks to their savvy, their intelligence, and their determination.
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