Women’s rights in America have always been a major issue throughout history.
Women’s rights have been closely linked with human rights throughout . This violation of
Women’s rights is apparent in the fight for suffrage in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s . It can
be said that the government denying the vote to women is a human right offense because
the right to vote is a natural right that comes with citizenship. To deny a certain group
based on race, age, or gender is deny them of their basic rights and therefore taking the
stance that they are second-class citizens if they are citizens at all. . The fight for suffrage
was a human rights struggle for more than just the right to vote. They were also striving
for a right to equal treatment as men politically. Women wanted to be recognized as being
a political force able to change the country if they so chose.
Suffrage can be documented as starting as far back as 1776, with Abigail Adams.
She wrote to her husband John, who was attending the Continental Congress, asking that
he and the other men “remember the ladies” In response, the Declaration is worded as “all
men are created equal:” Although this was seen by the men as a joke between husband
and wife, it was a blatant refusal of women as citizens of the country.
In he 1800’s women’s rights were furthered by the Married Woman’s Property
Act which was passed by Maryland in 1839. This law gave women the right to retain
personal property even within marriage. Now, the husband could not come into control of
the women’s property and sell it when married. This law was important because it
recognized the fact that women had the right to personal property even if there was a man
attached to them.
The origins of what we would determine as the suffrage movement began in 1848
with the Seneca Falls Convention, which was held in Seneca Falls New York in July of
1848. Many of those who attend sign a “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” that
outlines the main issues and goals for the emerging women’s movement. Included in the
“women’s Declaration of Independence” was the goal of the right to vote, but that was
looked upon by most of the women as a radical unachievable goal.
The passage of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1869 caused a rift in the suffrage
movement. Elizabeth Caty Stanton and Susan B Anthony form the National Woman
Suffrage Association (NWSA). Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, and Julia Ward Howe
formed the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). The NWSA did not support
the 15th Amendment, it pushed for an alternative 15th Amendment granting women’s
right to vote. They were considered the more radical of the two groups.. The AWSA was
in support of the 15th amendment, while still working for women’s enfranchisement, more
on a state level. The NWSA thought it was more important to attack the issue on a
national scale while the AWSA thought that if you worked within...