of women's suffrage
movement, founder of the National Woman's Party.
Public and equal justice for women was the goal of Alice Paul. A Connecticut resident during the last forty years of her life, she fought valiantly for national "woman" suffrage and equal rights. In 1913, after involvement in the militant wing of the English suffrage movement, she founded the Congressional Union (later the National Woman's Party), which applied the dramatic methods pioneered in England to the struggle to pass the suffrage amendment. Alice Paul and her colleagues took to the streets to demand suffrage and, during the First World War, picketed the White House to protest against a government that promised to make the world safe for democracy while denying half of its citizens the right to vote. Alice Paul, along with many other National Woman's Party members, suffered arrest and imprisonment as a result of her militant protest. The Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was finally ratified in 1920. That "was the most useful thing I ever did," she said shortly before her death.
But the vote was not enough to guarantee women's equal rights, in Alice Paul's opinion. By 1921, she had decided to concentrate her efforts on a constitutional amendment that would guarantee women equal rights, and she never swerved from the course she set for herself and her group. First introduced in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment finally passed Congress in 1972, although it failed to win ratification. Alice Paul worked tirelessly for the Treaty, until her death in 1977. Her work exemplified the active commitment of many Connecticut women to improving their world and the condtion of women's lives.