Womens Civil Rights Movement Research Paper

2467 words - 10 pages

For about 155 years, dramatic social and legal changes have been accomplished that are now very accepted. The staggering changes for women that have come about over these 155 years, in family life, in religion, in government, in employment, in education did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen, very deliberately. Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature. Women have come together to affect these changes: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance. They have worked very deliberately to create a better life for women in the United States. The Women's rights movement is still going on today and has been an enduring issue in American Society.The Women's Rights Movement began July 13, 1848. On that day in upstate New York, a young housewife and mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was invited to tea with four women friends. When the course of their conversation turned to the situation of women, Stanton she described her discontent with the limitations placed on her own situation under America's new democracy. Women had not gained freedom even though they'd taken equally tremendous risks through those dangerous years. This was not the first small group of women to have such a conversation, but it was the first to plan and carry out a specific, large-scale program.Within two days of their afternoon tea together, the small group had picked a date for their convention, found a suitable location, and placed a small announcement in the Seneca County Courier. They called "A convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman." The gathering would take place at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848. ( ). Elizabeth Cady Stanton used the Declaration of Independence as the framework for what she titled the "Declaration of Sentiments". The same familiar words framed their arguments: "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."In this Declaration of Sentiments, Stanton carefully enumerated areas of life where women were treated unjustly. Stanton's version read, "The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world." ( ) At that time married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law and women were not allowed to vote. They had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation. Married women had no property rights. Men had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity. Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying...

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