In the 1800’s a women was suppose to have four things Piety, Purity, submissiveness, and domesticity. These principles shaped the “Cult of True Womanhood” an idea that women were to be seen but not heard. Women had no say when it came to politics, they couldn’t own property, they were not allowed to do many jobs, and they couldn’t even speak in front of men. They had the duty to be a mother and raise their children but even thought they had this responsibility it was the husband who had the complete control and guardianship of the children. Because of these ideas it was very difficult for change to happen. When women started to receive more education they began to ask questions about why they were being denied these rights, which began the long road to women’s equality. And even though today women are viewed equal in the law, society is slow to change so women must still continue to fight for equality in society and the workplace.
One of the first huge steps in women’s suffrage was the first women’s right conventions in 1848 which was held in Seneca Falls, it spanned 2 days, July 19th to July 20th. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the convention, approximately 300 people attended (“The Women’s Right”). Lucretia Mott’s husband, James Mott, presided over the meeting because women at the time were not allowed to speak in public. At the convention, the Declaration of Sentiments, which was written by Stanton, was introduced. The Declaration of Sentiments was based on the United States’ Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Sentiments declared the rights many women wanted. The Declaration was reviewed and accepted, except for the idea about the right for women to vote. Many men and women wanted to remove this idea of women having the right to vote but reformer Frederick Douglass convinced them to keep the concept (“Seneca Falls”). The Declaration was signed by 68 women and 32 men, all of whom attended the conference.
The signing of the Declaration of Sentiments caused uproar among people (“Declarations of Independence”). The women at Seneca Falls were going against the “cult of true womanhood” but that didn’t stop them from persevering and moving forward.
Two years after the Seneca Falls convention, the very first National Women’s Rights Convention was called to order in Brinley Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 23–24, 1850. Many famous women rights advocates attended the convention including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott. Over a thousand people attended the convention making Brinley Hall overflow with people. The speakers addressed many issues on women’s equality such as higher education, the right to own property, and to vote. Many newspapers wrote reviews about the conventions some positive and some negative, but no matter what side they were committed to they helped shine a light on the issues of women’s equality and gained many supporters (“mass movements”).