Anthony, Susan B. - Summary

Susan B. Anthony believes that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives women the right to vote. On November 5, 1872, she sets out to prove just that by casting her ballot in the presidential election. Unfortunately, the very government which enacted that amendment disagrees. Before the month is out, Susan Anthony finds herself in federal court charged with the act of illegally voting.

The 1800s are a time when women have few rights. They are expected to take care of their homes, raise their children and stay out of “men’s affairs.” At age 52, however, Susan was already well known – some would say notorious – for her activities in support of women’s rights and against both alcohol and slavery. 

Her trial for illegally voting, however, marks a turning point in her life. In an outrageous procedure, the trial judge not only refuses to allow Susan to testify, he also decides the guilty verdict himself. He then dismisses the jury without letting its members vote or even say a word.

The injustice of this trial sets Susan to the task which will consume the rest of her life: getting the vote for women. With other pioneers such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan fights tirelessly for women’s suffrage. Sadly, her 86 years of life were not enough for her to see the fruits of her labor. Women finally win the vote in 1920, a hundred years after her birth.

In this story, read about the long struggle for women’s votes and the prejudices which made it so long and so hard. See the cartoons, flyers, editorials and comments which all show the fears both men and many women had about what would happen if women could vote.

Read the trial transcript with Susan’s own written comments on the side. Learn about the strong women and men (who, after all, were the only people with the right to vote) who eventually achieved passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Nov 08, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Anthony, Susan B." AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2000. Jul 19, 2018.
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