Women's Rights

The Women's right movement occurred in the 1830's-1850's. A wife was suppose to work in the home and be subordinate to her husband. They couldn't vote and couldn't keep the title of their property after they married. But in the 1800's women increasingly wanted freedom and wanted out of the house. Female reformers started demanding rights for women and increasingly they started gaining more recognition as their own people. The women's rights movement was interrupted by abolitionist movement before the civil war. As a result women were gradually able to gain education rights and fight for social reform.

Causes- women started wanting to have a greater role in society so they demanded more rights. Women started being put into a more distinct group where they have limited rights and so they started to demand more for themselves.

Effects- they started being admitted into more colleges which led to better education for women. A women's college was even established. And some states started permitting women to own property after marriage.

Long range significance- women were no longer thought of as property. The Seneca falls convention in New York started the campaign for the modern women's rights movement. Also at this convention they demanded the ballot for females. Later in time they were allowed to vote.

Important people:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony- founded the National Woman Suffrage Association which fought for women's equality in courts and workplaces as well as at the polls.

Grimké sisters (Sarah and Angelina)- championed antislavery.

Elizabeth Blackwell- first female to graduate from a medical college.

Amelia Bloomer- went against the traditional female attire and wore a semi-masculine short skirt with trousers. They were later called "bloomers".

Connection to an earlier time period- Abigail Adams writing to her husband to not "forget the ladies" was related to women's rights and one of the first times it was brought up.

Also republican motherhood allowed women to have a greater impact on society by having a larger role and led them to get more education than they had before.

For the picture below: "What It Would Be If Some Ladies Had Their Own Way" - This was a cartoon made by anti feminists making fun of the idea of men doing the women's work instead of women doing it. At the time this scene seemed absurd and made fun of the idea of women wanting more rights.

This ^ is a picture of Mary Lyon (1797-1849) from 1844. Mary Lyon was an advocate for women's rights and she tried to help women receive a better education. She was a teacher and managed to raise enough money to create a "Female Seminary". It helped to educate more women and even got so popular that a year after it was created Mary Lyon had to deny people access because there were already so many people there. It is now Mount Holyoke College.

Primary Source:

"While acknowledging our mutual affection by publicly assuming the relation of husband and wife, yet in justice to ourselves and a great principle, we deem it a duty to declare that this act on our part implies no... promise of voluntary obedience to such of the present laws of marriage, as refuse to recognize the wife as an independent, rational being, while they confer upon the husband an injurious and unnatural superiority."

This vow ^ was added to the nuptial ceremony of Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell in Massachusetts in 1855. Lucy Stone was a feminist and Blackwell was an abolitionist. Lucy Stone retained her maiden name after marriage which was unusual at the time. She proved that women aren't always inferior to men and that they are independent and have rights.

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