While studying in England, a young Alice Paul became involved with
the feminist movement. Before leaving England, Paul was arrested
seven times and jailed at least three for her suffragist activities.
When she returned to the United States, Paul joined, then left the
National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Thinking the
NAWSA too mainstream, she founded the Congressional Union for Woman
Suffrage (CUWS) in 1913. The CUWS later merged with the Woman's Party
to form the National Woman's Party, of which Paul was the first chair.
Until the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in 1919, and ratified in 1920,
Paul was an ardent supporter of suffrage, and even met with President
Woodrow Wilson to urge him to support suffrage. After the amendment was
passed, Paul continued her feminist work. In 1923, she drafted the Equal
Rights Amendment, and largely through her influence was able to
get the ERA through Congress in 1970. The amendment later failed to
be ratified by two-thirds of the states.
born January 11, 1885, died July 9, 1977