Women's Rights (1830s - 1850s)

http://images.betterworldbooks.com/031/Women-s-Rights-Emerges-Within-the-Anti-Slavery-Movement-1830-1870-Sklar-Kathryn-Kish-9780312228194.jpg

Women were thought to be weaker spiritually and emotionally compared to men.  Women, however, owned and ran their home but did not do anything outside of the home (called "cult of domesticity").  Several women leaders emerged fighting for different rights for women.  In 1848, the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention was held.  Here, the "Declaration of Sentiments," a document which discussed civil, social, political, and religious rights for women, was written.  Although this did not immediately give women the right to vote, it started the women's rights movement.  As women fought for their own rights, they worked with Africans and others who supported the abolition of slavery.  Therefore, the women's rights movement aided in the abolition of slavery.

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http://alchemiss.blogspot.com/2010/05/amelia-jenks-bloomer.html

This is a photo of Amelia Bloomers, one of the first women to fight for women's rights through clothing. She protested the "street sweeping" dresses and petticoats that reached the ground. She opted instead for a "semi masculine skirt with Turkish trousers." Men called and ridiculed her, calling her habits loose and improper.

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http://constitutioncenter.org/timeline/html/cw04_11985.html

This is the Seneca Falls Convention, one of the most memorable women's rights conventions. This convention convened in New York in 1848. This convention pushed the fight for freedom for women to the front of the nation. At this convention, the "Declaration of Sentiments" was written.
The Seneca Falls Convention and women's rights movement began when women were not allowed to state their beliefs at Anti-Slavery Conventions. This led Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to hold the Seneca Falls Convention. The women learned how to hold conventions from attending the Anti-Slavery Conventions. They also began to compare women to slaves because of the lack of rights.

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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; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. "Declaration of Sentiments." Proc. of Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Seneca Falls. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Web. 3 Nov. 2014. <http://ecssba.rutgers.edu/docs/seneca.html>;.

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The above primary source is a portion of the "Declaration of Sentiments" which was written at the Seneca Falls Convention in New York in 1848. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the main author of this document. The writing style of this document closely mirrors Thomas Jefferson's "Declaration of Independence." The main difference Stanton discusses is that "all men and women are created equal." She added "women" to this very well known sentence. The "Declaration of Independence" analyzes the hardships the colonies suffered, while the "Declaration of Sentiments" analyzes the suffering of women under the government at that time. The "Declaration of Sentiments" also has a grievances section just like Jefferson's document. Here, the women list out their grievances to their male oppressors. The similarities between the above document and the "Declaration of Independence" effectively get the purpose of the women's rights movement across- women want rights and freedom. Although one hundred out of about three hundred Seneca Falls attendees signed the document (68 women and 32 men), the document did not immediately give women the right to vote; however, it surfaced the issue of women's rights.

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There are many reasons that the women's rights movement occurred. Women were galvanized into action by the Second Great Awakening. They saw these movements as an opportunity to rid their homes and their society of many modern issues. Prominent figures in the women's suffrage movement also saw the Second Great Awakening as a chance to escape the confines and cage of their home. This movement gained freedom had little impact in the early 1800's, but the long term effects are considerable. Today, women have the freedom to vote, own property, and have equality in the workplace and in society. This is significant because woman's freedom opened the door to other freedom movement including freedom for slaves. This can be connected to the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution brought a lot of unexpected freedom for women. They were now able to work outside the home and become bread winners. The industrial revolution also allowed women to learn basic skills outside of those they were taught for home making. There were many significant women in this movement. For example, Catherine Beecher urged women to seek jobs as teachers and Lucretia Mott was a leading advocate for women. Other women were taking stands in other ways. Elizabeth Stanton insisted on the word "obey" being left out of her marriage ceremony. Susan B. Anthony endured rotten garbage and insults thrown her way, yet she never backed down. Women also started work in professions previously off limits. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female doctor- a pioneer in the field. All of these events lead to produce the women's rights movement we know today.

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Short Answer Questions
1) How did movements abolishing slavery lead to the women's rights movement?
2) What was the significance of the Seneca Falls Convention?
3) How did women take a stand for their rights?
4) How did the industrial revolution effect the woman's rights movement?
5) What were some causes of the women's rights movement?