Women's Rights Speech By Susan B. Anthony

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In 1872, Susan B Anthony delivered her Women’s Rights Speech, shortly after being arrested for illegally casting a vote in the presidential election. Speaking with a tone of anger and disgust in the way women are being treated, she yearns for them to acquire the same rights as everyone else. Her argument is composed by using several rhetorical devices such as allusion, repetition, and analogy to “prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen’ rights, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any state to deny.” Susan B. Anthony begins her argument by alluding to the preamble of the Constitution, that states “We, the people” accept this Constitution for the US in order to secure a peaceful union, filled with justice, general welfare and liberty. The allusion emphasizes the fact that “It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens, but we, the whole people.” The words of the Constitution are evidence that all citizens of the US,“women as well as men,” can secure these rights and if this is true, it applies to voting as well. Susan B. Anthony uses this allusion to make her case by contrasting the guarantees stated in the nation’s founding documents, to the reality that women…show more content…
Anthony uses a simple yet effective rhetorical question to drive her point home. “Webster, Worcester, and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office. The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons?” Susan B Anthony uses this question to make her audience think deeper, and see that according to the definition of a citizen, if women are people too, they should be allowed to vote and hold office. Therefore, by voting, Susan B. Anthony has done no harm by voting in the presidential election because she is a

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