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Emma Goldman

            Emma Goldman was born in 1869 in a Jewish ghetto in Russia. Severe economic hardship forced her to leave school at the age of thirteen and begin work in a factory in St. Petersburg. During her time in St. Petersburg, she came across a copy of Cherychevsky's "What is to be Done". This book promoted ideas like equality between sexes and co-operative work. It strengthened her to live her life in her own way. When she was fifteen her father decided that she was rebellious and should be sent to America to join her sister. Goldman discovered when she reached Rochester, that America is not the land of opportunity she thought it to be. She earned her living in sweatshops and slums working as a seamstress. .
             In 1886 Goldman heard of the Haymarket Square tragedy in Chicago. A bomb had been thrown into a crowd of police during a protest for the eight hour day. Four Anarchists were thereafter hanged on almost no evidence. Hearing about this incident drew Goldman towards Anarchism. The idea of Anarchism went with her for the rest of her life. Through her various writings her ideas were changed and shaped, but never strayed too far from Anarchism. .
             At the age of 19 she married a Russian immigrant but divorced him after 10 months. She then moved to New York and met Johann Most. He was the editor of a German Anarchist paper, he urged for the complete overthrow of Capitalism. She began traveling around holding lectures about Anarchism. She was challenged by a man in one of her lectures who made her realize that her ideals were slowly transforming society. .
             In 1892, Emma met Alexander Berkman, a man who influenced her more than anyone else in her life. Together, Goldman and Berkman planned to assassinate Henry Clay Finch. Finch was a tyrant who suppressed the factory strikes in Homestead Pennsylvania with armed guards. They only managed to injure Finch and Berkman was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

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