Alice Paul V. Carrie Chapman Catt

719 words - 3 pages

“Even in the modern day world, women struggle against discriminatory stigmas based on their sex. However, the beginnings of the feminist movement in the early 20th century set in motion the lasting and continuing expansion of women's rights” (Open Websites). One such organization that pushed for women’s rights was the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA) established in 1890. The NAWSA was the largest suffrage organization and worked toward securing the right to vote. The NAWSA however was split into two, the NAWSA and the National Women’s Party (NWP), when suffragists were disagreeing on how to achieve their goal.
Alice Paul was a Quaker who had strong views about women’s rights. However, she thought that the NAWSA and Carrie Chapman Catt’s plan was too conservative. She broke away from the association to form a more radical group, the National Women’s Party (NWP). The NWP pushed for a Constitutional Amendment at a federal level and focused on President Woodrow Wilson (Alice Paul 1885-1977). To raise support for the cause, Alice Paul conducted public events such as marches. These events were often talked about in the media thus raising awareness for women’s suffrage (The Women’s Rights Movement). Alice Paul wasn’t alone in her efforts. Lucy Burns, also a member of the NWP, organized political campaigns, and was the editor of the Suffragist (Lucy Burns). Paul, Burns and the Silent Sentinels picketed in front of the White House (Alice Paul 1885-1977). They were often harassed because of their progressive beliefs. That however didn’t stop the suffragists from protesting day after day. They held banners and

“relentlessly attacked the Democratic administration of President Woodrow Wilson for obstructing the extension of the vote to women” (The Women’s Rights Movement). They were arrested. While in the workhouse, Alice Paul started a hunger strike along with other women. After not eating for sometime, Alice Paul was force fed through tubes (Alice Paul).
Carrie Chapman Catt, being more conservative, thought that Paul was going about gaining suffrage the wrong way. Catt and Anna Howard Shaw, the leaders of the National American Women Suffrage Association, focused on gaining women’s suffrage state by state with Catt’s “Wining Plan” (Carrie Chapman Catt 1859-1947). Under this plan, “the NAWSA would simultaneously work for a federal amendment to enfranchise women and also work at the state level to win woman suffrage” (The National American Association). She...

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