Women's Rights 1830's - 1850's

Comment Stream

2 years ago
0

Prior to the 1830s, women were viewed as inferior to men, and were confined to the home. The Cult of Domesticity was a sphere of influence concerning the role of women in society. They got the position of ownership and renting homes, but after the evangelical movement, their influence was further expanded as they gained the position to protect the moral stability of society by influencing their families and those around them. However, although they had gained rights within their home, they wanted their influence to reach further than the inside of their home. Women like Catherine Beecher advocated for equal educational opportunities for women and encouraged women to take up jobs as teachers, like she did. In addition, women also began to see the similarities between themselves and enslaved individuals. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, two women abolitionists, even went as far as attending the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840. However, they were denied seats by men, which made them decide to hold a women's rights convention.

2 years ago
0
2 years ago
0

Although this political cartoon was created later on in the women's rights movement, it clearly illustrates the common belief that many people held in the 1830s-1850s that women were too emotionally and physically weak to actively participate in society. As the nineteenth century came along in america, gender differences were highly emphasizes due to the burgeoning market economy, which women were thought of as unfit to participate in. Therefore, as seen in this cartoon, women's sphere of influence was limited to the home which was the center of the "cult of domesticity." During this time period, the thought of women having the right to vote was outrageous; however, as the women's right movement gained strength in the middle of the century, and women were slowly able to gain a higher level of education, female reformers slowly started to bring up the topic of female suffrage. For example, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the few feminists who went as far as to suggest voting right's for women. Later on, one of the resolutions in the Declaration of Sentiments even formally demanded the ballot for females. Overall, as women started to expand past the confines of their homes, they slowly started to fight for equal rights and opportunities as men.

2 years ago
0
2 years ago
0

The Seneca Falls convention in 1848 served as a major turning point in the women's rights movement. This convention really represents the first time when a group of feminists come together to advocate equal rights for men and women. During the convention, one of the major actions that took place was that Elizabeth Cady Stanton read a "Declaration of Sentiments" that she had written which outlined the basis of the concept of equal rights for men and women. Stanton based the Declaration of Sentiments on the actual Declaration of Independence, stating that "all men and women are created equal", and she wrote out a list of resolutions for the equal treatment of women. One of these such resolutions was even a demand for the right to vote for women. This document was signed by the 68 women and 32 men, and its passing was significantly aided by the support of abolitionist, Frederick Douglas. This action shows an example of how the women's rights and abolitionist movements were intertwined for each other's mutual benefit, as both of them actively pushed for changes in their social status and rights.

2 years ago
0
2 years ago
0

The picture above is of the Declaration of Sentiments that Elizabeth Cady Stanton read at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. She advocated for equal rights for men and women alike. This document was based on the Declaration of Independence.

2 years ago
0
2 years ago
0

The Second Great Awakening had a significant impact on the status of middle-class women, because it preached female spiritual worth and offered women an active role in the bringing of their husbands and families back to God. This elevated status of women did serve to give them a higher social standing, because they were seen as the protectors of social morality; however, it also reaffirmed the fact that women's main purpose lay in the home, which stunted the participation of women in affairs outside the household and created the misconception that women were incapable of being productive participators in outside society.

2 years ago
0

While these ideas of women's rights were outrageous, they were not the first time in America that women had advocated for their equality. Leading women, like Abigail Adams for example, wanted change for women and wrote in her letter to her husband "In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors." Similarly to Abigail Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a major influence on women's rights through her speech at the Seneca Falls Convention where she read her Declaration of Sentiments. She even went as far as to say that women had the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in May 1869. These women had reacted to the 15th Amendment, passed that year, which accorded emancipated black men the vote—but not women. While the right for women wasn't actually established until 1920, the views of these women were granted eventually.