Alice Paul, Champion of Women's Suffrage

Timeline created by ABertram
  • Alice Paul was born in New Jersey

    Alice Paul was born on January 11, 1885 to Quaker parents in Moorestown, New Jersey. She was raised on a large farm and was the oldest of 4 children.
  • Attends women's suffrage meeting with mother, Tacie

    Alice was greatly influenced by her mother's involvement with the National Women's Suffrage Association in the 1890s. She attended meetings with her mother. Tacie Paul also hosted meetings in her family home. Alice Paul came from a upper middle class family of progressive ideals.
  • graduates high school at 16

    graduates high school at 16
    According to the Alice Paul Institute website, "Alice was an excellent student, a voracious reader, and played several extracurricular sports in school including basketball, baseball and field hockey." This senior photograph was taken in 1901. Alice Paul graduated first in her class and was head and shoulders above her peers academically. Photo credit : Alice Paul Institute.
  • Graduated from Swarthmore College

    Graduated from Swarthmore College
    Alice Paul earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from Swarthmore in 1905. She was very active on campus and the member of a sorority. This is a photo of Alice with her sorority sisters. Photo Credit : Alice Paul Institute.
  • Activism in London : 1906-1909

    Activism in London : 1906-1909
    Alice Paul went to London in 1906 to join the women's suffrage movement. Tactics used by British suffragists were often radical and demonstations sometimes led to arrests. Alice Paul was arrested on several occasions for demonstrating in London. This photograph shows Alice speaking with one of the leaders of the British women's suffrage movement, Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence.
  • Return to America and Her Studies

    Alice returned to America in 1910 and became a leader in the suffrage movement. She began her graduate studies at the University of Pennslyvania, and joined the local chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). She quickly became the chair of its congressional committee.
  • Completes her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania

    Alice wanted to change the laws that affect women, which is what made her decide to return to her studies. She earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1912. She wrote her dissertation on social issues created by the inferior status of women.
  • Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage

    Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage
    Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, a young female lawyer, founded a more militant women's organization called the Congressional Union for Women's Suffrage in the beginning of 1913. After some disagreements with NAWSA over financial support, Alice decided to break away from the organization. Photo credit: Library of Congress
  • Suffragist Parade

    Suffragist Parade
    Alice Paul planned and hosted a Suffragist Parade in Washington, DC the day before Woodrow Wilson's inauguration. It unfortunately ended in police violence and several arrests. Photo credit: National Women's History Museum National Women's History Museum: In Their Footsteps
  • First Suffrage Bill Fails

    First Suffrage Bill Fails
    On January 15th, 1915 the first suffrage bill was brought to a vote in the House of Representatives and was struck down by a vote of 204 to 174.
  • National Women's Party

    National Women's Party
    After gaining a substantial following, the Congressional Union for Women's Suffrage merged with other suffrage groups to become the National Women's Party in June of 1916. This was a crucial turning point for the suffrage movement in America. It also increased the divide between NAWSA and Alice Paul's organization, as NAWSA continued to pursue incremental change while the National Women's Party began picketing the White House in March 1917.
  • Picketing the White House: 1916-1917

    The National Women's Party began picketing the white house to draw attention to the suffrage issue and encourage senators to vote in favor of a woman's right to vote. During 1916, the NWP collected 500,000 signatures and started a campaign to visit Democratic senators persnally in Washington, D.C.
  • Picketers are Arrested and Imprisoned

    Picketers are Arrested and Imprisoned
    On November 19th, 1917 dozens of NWP members including Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were arrested and sentenced to six weeks at Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia. The women were beaten, fed rotten food, and abused to "teach them a lesson." A total of 33 women were charged with obstructing sidewalk traffic and held without bail. When the media learned of this, it created an international sensation.
  • Second Suffrage Bill Fails

    Second Suffrage Bill Fails
    On January 10th, 1918 a second suffrage bill was attempted, this time fully endorsed by President Woodrow Wilson. It narrowly passed in the House of Representatives with one vote, but failed to pass in the Senate in September 1918.
  • Third Attempt to Pass Suffrage Bill is Success

    Third Attempt to Pass Suffrage Bill is Success
    By 1919, many states had given women the right to vote, but an amendment to the constitution had not been passed. Finally, on June 4th, 1919 the 19th amendment was passed but had yet to be ratified by a number of states.
  • Women's Suffrage is Achieved

    Women's Suffrage is Achieved
    After a long and drawn out process, the 19th Amendment was ratified nationally. It was a long and arduous process for Alice Paul and the members of the National Women's Party.
  • Equal Rights Amendment

    Equal Rights Amendment
    Alice Paul wrote an Equal Rights Amendment and unsuccessfully attempted to introduce it to Congress in 1923. A revised version of this amendment was introduced again in 1972, but could not be ratified.
  • Graduates with Law Degree

    Alice Paul graduated with a Doctorate of Law from American University in 1928.
  • World Party for Equal Rights

    World Party for Equal Rights
    In 1938, Alice Paul founded the World Party for Equal Rights for Women. She remained a social activist and women's rights advocate for the rest of her life.
  • Lived Until Age 92

    Lived Until Age 92
    Alice Paul spent her entire life working for the institution of women's suffrage and equal rights. She passed away in 1977 after complications following a stroke in 1974. She will always be remembered for her dedication to the cause. This photograph was taken in 1965.
    Photo credit: Alice Paul Institute.
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    Early Life and Education

    Early life and formal education of Alice Paul.
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    The Long Road to Suffrage

    Spans from Alice Paul's tenure as a Congressional Representative for NAWSA to the ratification of the 19th Amerndment.