Kurle-1 The American Women’s Movement In modern times, the thought of a woman being denied the right to vote, divorce her abusive husband, or to simply own land would be appalling to most sensible people. One hundred and fifty years ago however, it was the social norm. The fight for women’s rights effectively began with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. The declaration outlined the agenda and goals of the movement and sent a strong message by echoing the Declaration of Independence, implying that the Declaration of Independence didn’t yet apply to women (Loveday 1). Stanton would later go on to give a speech consisting of eleven resolutions “calling for dramatic reforms in all areas of society”, the most controversial of which demanded that women be given the right to vote (Jablow 56). At the time most men felt that women weren’t educated enough to have a say in politics, in fact even her fellow abolitionist Lucretia Mott was opposed to the ninth resolution in fear that it would make them look ridiculous for demanding such a ludicrous idea (Jablow57). Despite the controversy, the Seneca Falls Convention was considered a success and one hundred people signed the declaration of sentiments including thirty-two men. After the conclusion of the Seneca Falls convention, the march towards women’s rights began to spread. Similar meetings were held across the country and the fight began to gain in popularity. As more joined the cause however, more also began to join the fight against women’s rights. Even before the declaration was signed, people didn’t like the idea of women’s right. When the three hundred or so people showed up at the Seneca Falls convention, the doors were locked and Stanton had to lift her nephew through a window so he could unlock the doors (Jablow 56).
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- Spring '09
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, voting rights