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Centre for Women & Democracy
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Remember, remember ... for a different reason

5 Nov, 2009

It may be more than 400 years since the Gunpowder Plot, but it's also 137 years since the American suffrage campaigner Susan B Anthony tried to make a different point about the exclusive nature of legislatures by voting illegally in New York in the 1872. She voted Republican and was subsequently summonsed and fined $100. She used the trial to highlight the case for women's votes, and could have received a prison sentance, but despite this, she never paid the fine.

The Fifteenth Amendment had enfranchised black people and former slaves in 1870. Prior to that the campaign for the vote had been joint, but the debate on the Amendment caused a rift which pushed Anthony to distrust future alliances across gender lines.

She died in 1906, and women in the USA did not get the vote until the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920 after a stormy passage through the legislative process.