Alice Paul

1585 Words Jul 13th, 2018 7 Pages
Historical Context Women’s history in the United States has always been represented as a struggle for rights. Wealth and status were tied to either their fathers or husbands. In the early 1900s, women were afforded the traditional roles of society. The majority of women worked in the home. If they were of the 18% young or poor women, they also worked in factories as laborers, manufacturing items for the booming industrial revolution (U.S. Department of Labor, 1980). During this time period the workplace was not in compliance with current safety standards. There was no minimum wage yet, work conditions were horrible and they worked long hours, “In 1900, the average workweek in manufacturing was 53 hours,” (Fisk, 2003). Women took “pink …show more content…
However, she felt their approach was limited. “[Her] political theory was founded on a single premise: electoral survival determines political behavior.” (Graham, 1983. Pg. 666) She did not believe state amendment was the answer; it was a waste of time. Because of this ideology she separated from NAWSA in 1914.
Making this movement public was essential in ratification of the Constitution. Paul organized women on all levels. She knew that selling the movement to the American people would further the cause. Her first attempt was to campaign against all Democratic candidates. That did not do much to the political party. She had to reformulate a plan. She organized a group of women to picket the White House daily, except for Sundays, with banners of the President’s own speeches written on them. Papers often carried the stories of the suffragettes’ struggles. When World War I was declared, that changed.
Paul had many aligned supporters up until this point. In fact, many other organizations understood the plight for equality. Picketing about democracy during a time of war was considered treason by some and many just thought it was distasteful. Even NAWSA condemned the action. (Graham, 1983) Paul’s strategy of using Wilson’s own quotes, reading his speeches to the passing public, and then burning them, was starting to anger citizens. Despite the hostility against the NWP, they made the papers. Many newspapers were
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