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Womens Rights Movement


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Womens rights movement

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Womens Rights Movement

  1. 1. The Development of the Women’s Rights Movement in the US Julie Mace Photo Credit:
  2. 2. Women’s Rights vs. Women’s Emancipation • Women’s Rights- “civil rights to vote, hold office, have access to education, and to have economic and political power at every level of society on an equal basis with men.” 17 • Women’s Emancipation- “is the freedom from oppressive restrictions imposed by reason of sex; self-determination and autonomy. Oppressive restrictions are biological restrictions due to sex, as well as socially imposed ones.” 18
  3. 3. • In 1769, the law of coverture was recognized by American colonists in which, "transferred a women's civic identity to her husband at marriage". 1 This elaborate system of women oppression in property rights & voting rights strictly confined a women's ability to be full participants in a society of the free. Women however, didn't remain idle recipients of the inequalities with coverture; women fought to get their right to vote & own property. The Law of Coverture & Voting
  4. 4. The “Republican Women” • Through their determination during the Revolutionary War and after the war ending in 1783, women's optimism of gaining rights of property and suffrage in America ran high as their model of the “Republican Women" was "competent and confident".2 Women and men both knew that the “republican mother” could teach and raise solid democratic sons who could vote, yet they remained denied this right from these same men. Judith Sargent Murray in 1798 wrote, "I expect to see our young women forming a new era in female history", and she couldn't have been more prophetic in her statement.2 Photo Credit: Judith Sargent Murray, 1790 #hst202 Via Jessica Marie Johnson.
  5. 5. Sarah Pierce’s School for Girls • According to the Litchfield Historical Society, “Sarah Pierce encouraged her students to become involved in benevolent and charitable societies. The Litchfield Female Academy students organized to support local missionary, bible and tract societies and raised money for the training of ministers. Many of the academy alumnae carried on these activities in later life, becoming leaders and ardent members of maternal societies, moral reform movements, and temperance societies.” Some of her most well known women reformers who attended here included Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe.3 Photo Credit: Litchfield Historical Society
  6. 6. School for Girls & Sentiments • Forty years after Judith Sargent Murray wrote how a new era of women in history would emerge, the female students at Sarah Pierce's school for girls in Litchfield, Connecticut wrote in 1838 "a Ladies Declaration of Independence" for their 4th of the July celebration. A decade later, this same inspiration Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott would use in their Declaration of Sentiments and Resoultions.4 Photo Credits:
  7. 7. World Anti-Slavery Convention Inspires Seneca Falls! • In 1840, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, but were denied access to the event because they were a women. Although most people in this time period agreed that women should not be a part of the public sphere, Stanton and Motts were, “Outraged by this humiliating experience and decided in London that they would convene a meeting of women in the United States to discuss their grievances as soon as possible.” Stanton wrote, “I poured out that day a torrent of my long accumulating discontent with such vehemence and indignation that I stirred myself, as well as the rest of the party, to do or dare anything.” 5 Photo Credits:
  8. 8. Elizabeth Cady Stanton • According to, in 1863, Stanton and Susan B. Anthony would create the Women’s Loyal National League that inspired through their petition drives, the passage of the 13th Amendment ending slavery. Stanton also found the American Equal Rights Association to gain suffrage for all citizens of America and helped pass the 15th Amendment that gave African American men the right to vote. During 1868-1870, Stanton in the newspaper, The Revolution, began publishing articles about the lives of women, and in 1869-1890, headed the National American Women Suffrage Association to further advance the voting rights to women. Between 1878- 1919, a new suffrage bill was introduced to the Senate each year, but it wouldn’t be until 1920, that the 19th Amendment passed gaining women full suffrage rights. 7 Elizabeth Cady Stanton was known as the “great communicator and propagandist of the nineteenth century feminism” and “wrote the great manifesto that would set the agenda for the American women’s movement for 150 years.” 6Photo Credits:
  9. 9. Lucretia Mott • Lucretia Mott was “an experienced and highly acclaimed public speaker, a Quaker minister and longtime abolitionist.” 8 Mott’s founded the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Association in 1833 that helped bring passage of the 13th Amendment. According to, “Throughout her life Mott remained active in both the abolition and women’s rights movements. She continued to speak out against slavery, and in 1866 she became the first president of the American Equal Rights Association, an organization formed to achieve equality for African Americans and women.”9 Photo Credits: Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress.
  10. 10. Seneca Falls • The first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, “a region where they held their convention…had for more than two decades been the center of reform and utopian movements. The region was known as the “burned- over” district, because so many schemes for reforms had swept over it in rapid succession” including evangelical revivalism, temperance, abolition, church reform, Mormonism, and chiliastic movements.” 10 Photo Credits:
  11. 11. Map of Women’s Suffrage in the US, 1848 Photo Credits:
  12. 12. Seneca Falls, 1848 1st Women’s Rights Convention • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Martha Wright, Jane Hunt, and Mary Ann McClintock organized the 1st Women’s Rights Conference on July 19-20, 1848. Most of the 300 participants “were reformers with considerable organizational experience” including religious dissidents groups, lawyers from the Liberty Party or Free Soil group, and Frederick Douglas, famed former slave. 11 Photo Credits:
  13. 13. Seneca Falls: Day 1 • The first day of the Seneca Fall’s Women’s Convention was “reserved to women, who occupied themselves with debating, paragraph by paragraph, the Declaration of Sentiments prepared by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.” 12 Photo Credits:
  14. 14. Seneca Falls: Day 2 • On the second day of the convention, men were invited to participate and speak. At the end of the day, “sixty-eight women and thirty-two men signed their names to the Declaration of Sentiments which embodied the program of the nascent movement and provided the model for future woman’s rights conventions.”13 Photo Credits:
  15. 15. Declaration of Sentiments • Stanton & Mott’s along with the others of the convention, selected their model for their Declaration of Sentiments after the Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, “following its preamble almost verbatim, except for the insertion of gender-neutral language.” 14 • The main argument was “to base their main appeal (property rights , wages, & voting) on the democratic rights embodied in the nation’s founding document… that all men and women are created equal. The second fundamental argument for the equality of woman was religious” that had long established that a man had “absolute tyranny” over a women. 15 • Seneca Falls and its Declaration of Sentiments was a “public voice for women and the recognition that women could not win their rights unless they organized.” 16
  16. 16. Married Women’s Property Acts Photo Credits:
  17. 17. First National Women’s Rights Convention, 1850 • Two years after Seneca Falls and the passing of the first women’s property acts in NY, Worcester, Massachusetts attracted 1,000 in hopes of gaining additional rights and securing women’s right to vote. • In 1869, two women’s group form in hopes of gaining women’s suffrage across America.
  18. 18. Susan B. Anthony • This woman suffragist got her roots by demanding “equal pay for equal work”. She was a teacher and realized that male teachers were making $700 a year while she only made $250 a year. 23 • She later becomes active in temperance movement, but she is not allowed to speak at temperance rallies because she was a woman. “This experience, and her acquaintance with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, led her to join the women's rights movement in 1852. Soon after, she dedicated her life to woman suffrage.” Photo Credits:
  19. 19. National Women Suffrage Association • In 1869, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Women Suffrage Association with the primary goal of achieving voting rights for women by means of Congressional amendments to the Constitution. 20 Photo Credits:
  20. 20. American Women Suffrage Association • That same year, Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, and others form the American Woman Suffrage Association with their primary goal of gaining voting rights for women through amendments to state constitutions. 20 Photo Credits: Bryn Mawr College
  21. 21. 1869: Racial Equality Splits Women’s Suffrage Associations! • After the passing of the 13th Amendment which freed slaves, the 14th Amendment which dealt with citizenship and equal protection of the laws, and the 15th Amendment which granted African American MEN the right to vote, the association between the National Woman’s Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association began to crumble in 1869. 20
  22. 22. 1870: First Women Nominated for President • The Equal Rights Party nominates Victoria Chaflin Woodhull for presidency despite herself being allowed the right to vote. 20 Photo Credits:
  23. 23. 1874: Minor v. Happersett • After Susan B. Anthony’s arrest in 1872, other suffragists began testing the 14th Amendment. Virginia Minor, who was president of the Woman Suffrage Association in Missouri, took to the polls. When refused to being allowed, Virginia and her husband sued “for denying her one of the privileges and immunities of citizenship”. • Even though they lost, the appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court justices “held that if the authors of the Constitution had intended that women should vote, they would have said so explicitly.”21
  24. 24. 1890: Women’s Suffrage Associations Join Together Again! • In 1890, the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association merge to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association and campaigned state by state for voting rights for women.20 Photo Credits: Bryn Mawr College
  25. 25. Wyoming: First State to Grant Women’s Suffrage! • In 1869, the territory of Wyoming needed enough voting citizens to become a state, thus opened up election voting to women over the age of 21. In 1890, Wyoming became a state and continued to permit women to vote in elections. 20 • Kansas followed in 1887 allowing women to vote in municipal elections, along with other western states (see map). 20
  26. 26. 1896: National Association of Colored Women Organize! • More than hundred African American clubs across the nation merge to form the National Association of Colored Women led by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin whose goal was to “promote equality for women, raise funds for projects that benefit women and children and oppose segregation and racial violence.” 20 Photo Credits:
  27. 27. Western States Begin Granting Women the Right to Vote before 1920! Photo Credits: University of South Florida
  28. 28. 1878: 19th Amendment Written! • Susan B. Anthony will write the woman suffrage amendment in 1878, and was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The amendment was then sent to the States to ratify. 22 Photo Credits:
  29. 29. 1920: 19th Amendment Women Gain Suffrage! • On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granted woman the right to vote and was ratified by all states. It was signed into law by Secretary of State Brainbridge Colby. 22 Photo Credits:
  30. 30. Presentation Citations • All photo credits are given on the photo. • 1. Kerber, Linda., Women‘s America Refocusing the Past (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 147. 2. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 147. 3. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 148. 4. 5. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 259. 6. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 258-259. 7. stanton.htm 8. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 259. 9. mott.htm 10. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 259. 11. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 260. 12. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 260. 13. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 260. 14. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 260. 15. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 260-261. 16. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 261. 17. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 261. 18. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 262. 20. Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics 21. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 315. 22. Women‘s Rights Movement in US History: History and Timeline of Events (1848-1920), • 23. 16. Women‘s America Refocusing the Past, 264. 24. Photo Credits: Arago-Smithsonian