Susan B. Anthony made a name for herself because she was willing to fight for the rights of women in the United States. This fight for rights was called suffrage because it included the right to vote. She was born in 1820, had 6 siblings, and much of her family was involved in the fight for equal rights in some form or another. It wasn’t always easy for her family. When she was 17, the economy in the US collapsed and her father was laden with debt. She became a schoolteacher to help the family survive.
1. Too Smart For School
One of the best decisions in Anthony’s life was her parent’s deciding to have her be homeschooled. Her father didn’t believe that the local school was good enough to handle her smarts and he was probably right since she learned to read and write at the age of 3. Having her teacher refuse to teach long division when she was 7 also contributed to this choice. The result of this one choice was that Anthony grew up to be an incredibly smart and incredibly independent woman. She refused to accept that her wages should be 25% of what a man could earn just because she was a woman.
2. Fined For a Vote
In the 1872 elections, Susan B. Anthony decided that she was going to vote in the election anyway. It was an illegal act at the time, but she didn’t care. She was caught voting and fined $100, which was an extensive amount of money for that period of time. Anthony refused to pay the fine and the it was ultimately never enforced. The news from that one incident carried out across the country and encouraged other women to get involved with the suffrage movement.
3. An Introduction of the 19th Amendment
In 1878, Susan B. Anthony introduced to Congress an amendment to the Constitution that was essentially what the 19th Amendment would be. It would give everyone the right to vote, no matter what their gender happened to be. The only problem is that the amendment wouldn’t be officially adopted by all of the states until 1920, over 40 years after Anthony had first introduced the concept of suffrage for everyone to the US government.
4. Remember the Coin
Susan B. Anthony also became one of the few women to be featured on money from the US government when her image was placed on a new dollar coin. Although the dollar coins proved to be rather unpopular because of their size and weight being similar to a quarter, it was still a historic moment as it officially recognized her role in developing equal rights in the country.
5. It Wasn’t Just Women’s Rights
Susan B. Anthony might be remembered for her fight for the right to vote, but she was heavily involved in all equal rights movements. In 1856, Anthony was even named the state agent for the American Anti-Slavery society in New York.
For nearly 40 years, Susan B. Anthony appeared before Congress to testify to the need for a suffrage amendment. Although she never got to see her dream come true, millions of women have her tireless work to thank for the rights they have in the United States right now.