13 May 2018
Age of Reform
Movements in the early 1800’s aimed in making our society better. America was growing larger and people started to come up with many new ideas. Many people had conflicting opinions, which caused the Age of Reform to arise, where people attempted to change womens rights. The movement was an attempt of improving the society they lived in. The Age of Reform has brought new hope for women and their rights. Women have played a lesser role in societies around the world, especially in America. They were never aloud to be apart of politics and nearly all of them stayed home to take care of house chores. The women’s rights movement started during 1920 but really started during the Age of Reform in the 1800’s. The women’s rights reform began in 1840, at a London Convention concerning slavery, when two abolitionists were turned away because they were women.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls, New York, on July 19, 1848. It was solely based off the Declaration of Independence and focused mostly on the discrimination women had to face; “The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.” (Declaration of Sentiments) Stanton presented this at the first women’s convention. There was a list of issues that they tried to “resolve” during this convention. The women at the convention spoke about things like women being obedient to their husband, if they were married and got separated they lost all their power and it goes to the man and that they were seen as civilly dead in society. This declaration stated that “all men and women were created equal,” and urged that they be given “the sacred right of elective franchise.” (Declaration of Sentiments) The unfair treatment towards women by men was the most significant point in the Declaration of Sentiments. Stanton purposely listed the ways they were treated unfairly; “He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns,” “He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education – all colleges being closed against her,” and “He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.” (Declaration of Sentiments) They wrote this document to bee seen as equal and an important part of America. The women wanted men to know that they had a voice, they had something special to offer, and that they were no longer be seen as property. All these things didn’t happen until the 19th amendment for women’s rights was created, even though they tried several times to stand up for themselves. Throughout the whole convention and while she wrote the document she referred to our country as “He”, this symbolized that women had no rights at all. She is holding the government leaders and lawmakers, who were all men at this time accountable for how unfairly women have been treated. The women who stood up and put the Declaration of Sentiments together were all so brave to go up against what was acceptable for this time. Of course they were made fun of and criticized by the newspaper for their behavior. If it wasn’t for Elizabeth Stanton and all the other women activist, who knows if women would have rights today.