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Comparison Of The Women’s Movement In Europe And United States

1966 words - 8 pages

"We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever ("Declaration” 18). This statement from the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States, compiled by the National Woman Suffrage Association, was read on July 4th, 1876 at Independence Square as an unexpected part of the nation’s centennial celebration. Originally, five women made a request for the document to be read at the official proceedings, but it was denied; however, the women decided to continue with their plan. At the celebration, they marched straight down the aisle to the podium where Susan B. ...view middle of the document...

Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton wanted to reject the amendment because it did not give women the right to vote; however, other leaders like Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe supported the amendment, reasoning that the women’s vote would not be far behind (Women’s Suffrage 2). Anthony’s supporters formed the National American Women Suffrage Association, while Stone created the American Women Suffrage Association. Both groups worked for women’s political equality; however, Stone’s organization promoted issues such as: divorce law reform, equal pay, access to higher education, reform of organized religion, and a “total rethinking of what constituted the woman's sphere” (Rynder 23). In 1890, they combined the groups as the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and changed their approach with new ideas, which are later called the Progressive Campaign. This campaign changed their earlier argument that women deserved their rights due to their equality with men to an argument that women deserved the right to vote because they are very different from men. They portrayed their domesticity as a political virtue to create a “purer, more moral maternal commonwealth” (“The Fight for Women’s Suffrage” 7). With their new strategy, women organized countless local and state campaigns, which won them right to vote in Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah all before the beginning of the 20th century. The women’s revolution in the United States was influenced greatly by the political factors during the time.
Economic factors played a major role in the progress of the women’s movement in the United States, as well. The United States economy during this time period was affected greatly due to industrialization, beginning in the early 1800s. Industrialization brought improvements in transportation, technology, agriculture, and modern factories. These factors influenced the development of the women’s revolution due to the increased role women began to have in the economy. With industrialization, many women began to be employed in modern factories, working under very harsh conditions for little pay. Organizations of women, like NAWSA, were created to combat the poor situations the women experienced. In 1917, when the United States got involved in World War I, the fight for women’s rights was halted; however, it helped to advance their movement. During the war, numerous women served as nurses, marines, or in the navy. On the home front, women aided the war effort by selling war bonds, conserving food, and sending relief supplies to Europe. Many women also took jobs in factories and with the government to fill in for the men overseas. The Department of Labor even created the Women in Industry Service, which became known as the Women’s Bureau (Peterson). This participation in World War I caused many to look at the women’s rights movement with a different perspective. In fact, many believe their support in the war impressed Congress and caused...

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