Over the years, many people have noticed that women have always been treated differently than men. In the beginning, women weren’t even expected to leave the house because they were supposed to stay home, cook, clean, and take care of the children. Women also couldn’t have any land because people didn’t think they could handle it. Women made a small breakthrough when they were granted the ability to divorce their husbands and own their own land, however, women still had a long way to go. One of the major beginnings of women’s rights was the Seneca Falls convention. This meeting was put together by many women who would change the face of woman’s rights for the rest of history. These women were Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Martha Coffin Wright, and Lucretia Mott. This meeting happened for many reasons like voting rights, divorce, and owning land. Over the course of two days, many points and views would be brought up about what everyone thought women should be able to do. Obviously, Seneca Falls was able to accomplish somethings but there are still so many things that women still aren’t equal to men. Examples of this are woman’s paychecks and even how they are treated in public. Overall Seneca Falls happened because of many things, and it accomplished many things as well. It surrounded women’s rights with the four main women involved being Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Martha Coffin Wright, and Lucretia Mott.
Seneca Falls wasn’t just a two-day meeting about why women are treated differently and how they can stop being treated wrong. The timeline of Seneca Falls is actually a little complicated. This meeting didn’t just pop up out of nowhere, instead, many things lead up to it. Also, Seneca Falls wasn’t able to accomplish anything right after it happened. Instead, it is still affecting things in the present right now.
Seneca Falls happened because, from the beginning of the new country, women had always been treated differently. In the beginning, women weren’t allowed to own land or even leave the house. Instead, they were expected to stay home and stay home. While they were home, they were expected to take care of the children that they had. During this time, women were expected to have 10 children. Many times only 2 or three would survive because of the lack of medicine and vaccinations. Women were also expected to clean and cook.
During this time women also weren’t allowed to divorce their own husbands. Many times, their husbands would just get up and leave to go move west. Women also weren’t allowed to vote. They were seen as just the caretakers of the country. This angered many women because they knew they were more than what people were giving them credit for.
Seneca Falls was a two-day convention. The first day was only open to women. This convention was open to all women, no one had to have an invitation. On this first day, every woman could speak her view about what was happening, what they wanted to happen, and how they thought the world would be better if they did it that way. Having the meeting set up this way made it easier for everyone to understand and comprehend what was happening.
The second day of the convention was open to everyone. Both men and woman were allowed to come and speak their opinions about women’s rights. On the second day of the convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton gave a speech about women’s rights and why it was all important. This whole convention was so controversial because not many people in the world believed that women shouldn’t have the same rights that men did. Also when men did speak at the convention, like James Mott, even more people began to think that women didn’t deserve to be equal.
Even today, women are still fighting for equality. Now it’s over pay and being objectified. Obviously these aren’t as big of the battles from the past. However now, a lot of people are listening when, back when woman’s rights began, not many people would listen. Also now women have more say in what will happen in their lives, they are allowed to own their own properties, and are also allowed to divorce their husbands. This is all thanks to the women who helped start the women’s rights movements that were all started after the Seneca Falls convention opened the eyes of so many people that women were a force to be reckoned with.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was one of the original women’s rights activists. She was one of the speakers of the second day at Seneca Falls. But how did she become such a courageous woman?
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born November 12, 1815. She was born into a family with her father being a lawyer. He never wanted a daughter, instead he wanted a son who would be seen as a stronger person. Her father did have a son, however he died and Elizabeth Cady Stanton decided to step up even if her father showed little interest. She began to show off how bright she was by studying Greek at a very early age. This was nearly unheard of for someone her age to study such an odd topic. She showed her father that she was going to be educated, even from a young age.
Speaking of education, she held up to the standards she set for herself with her father at a young age. Her father saw how intelligent she was, except he still didn’t want her to attend college. “Her father loved her, but back then, only men were expected to go to college,” this is a quote from The Making America. She ended up attending Emma Willard’s Troy Female Seminary. She graduated from there in 1832. She studied abolition and women’s rights. In my own, personal opinion, I think it’s pretty cool that she studied women’s rights because she saw, even at a young age, that women were being treated differently than men.
Everything really changed when she married Henry Stanton who was an abolitionist. They married in 1840 and traveled to London to attend the World Antislavery Convention where she met Lucretia Mott who was also a women’s rights activist and abolitionist. Both Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott decided that it would be a good idea to begin the women’s rights movement in America. This is when the idea of Seneca Falls was born.
Right away, she wasn’t able to accomplish anything. All great things take time. Eventually, however, she was able to give people the idea that women should be treated better because they weren’t any different than men aside from their gender. Women could do whatever men could do. She fought for women to have to right to divorce their husbands and helped Susan B. Anthony fight for women’s voting rights.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton died in 1902. She was able to see few things that she helped accomplish before she died. She was able to see some states and territories grant women the right to vote. Because of her accomplishments and her will to show people that women can do the same thing any man can, helped establish modern civil rights that Americans are blessed to live with today.
Susan B. Anthony, as I have mentioned previously, fought for the right for women to vote along with the help of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Susan B. Anthony was born February 15, 1820. She was born into a Quaker family. This family taught her their religious beliefs and what they valued. In this household, there was still inequality. Susan B. Anthony didn’t originally start out as a women’s rights activist. Instead, she was originally a teacher.
Susan B. Anthony got into women’s rights for some interesting reasons. She saw society’s flaws in overlooking women and paying them less than what men were payed. Women also weren’t allowed anywhere near politics. This angered many women because they were citizens as well so why weren’t they allowed to vote? One man’s reasoning for women not being able to vote was “the constitution of the female mind was such as to render women incapable of correctly deciding upon those questions.” The man who said this was named Moses D. Gale.
She was also in women’s rights because she knew woman should be treated better than what they were being treated like. Her main goal was the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton when they were both in New York and decided to form the women’s New York State Temperance Society together. They formed this society because women weren’t allowed to speak in front of mixed audiences. They weren’t allowed to even be seen on the stage sometimes and had to sit in the crown or behind a curtain.
During her time in the women’s rights movement, she was able to accomplish so many things that were long term and short term. She managed to get woman the right to vote. This was huge considering that is one thing that they had been fighting for since the new country came into existence. She also was able to open everyone’s eyes and show them that women were worth more than just taking care of children and cleaning the house. Susan B. Anthony majorly affected the way that women were seen and represented in the United States government, even though women wouldn’t hold any offices for a while. Susan B. Anthony saw it that at least woman had a say in their government. Susan B. Anthony died in 1906 and was also able to see few states and territories establish voting rights to women.
Martha Coffin Wright is another women who was important to women’s rights. She was born in 1806. She had seven siblings, one of which was Lucretia Mott who also became a women’s rights activist. Her father when she was young, her mother opened their home to be a boarding home. Her mom was a strong role model. Martha Wright attended a day school and later she did attend a boarding school. This school was called Westtown Boarding School.
Martha Coffin Wright had a hard adult life. Her first husband died and left her with an infant daughter. Martha Coffin Wright went on to have six more children. Her final husband was David Wright. He was a lawyer.
Women’s rights was a big part of her life. She was the president of the National Women Suffrage Association. She was also an abolitionist from the beginning of her adult career. During her time in women’s rights, she was able to team up with her sister. Both her and her sister fought to show everyone in the country that women shouldn’t be over looked, or ignored.
Lucretia Mott is the sister of Martha Coffin Wright. She was born January 3, 1796. She had basically same childhood that her sister had. They were both raised in a Quaker family. This means to that they were both raised to be very modest. They were also raised with the Quaker ideal that everyone, in the eyes of God, was equal. This meant African Americans who were enslaved and women.
Lucretia Mott and her sister attended Seneca Falls. After the convention ended, they both continued to speak about equality for women. Lucretia Mott also focused on the problem that African Americans weren’t being treated equal when they should. Especially since slavery had been abolished during the civil war. She was able to collaborate with Stanton and Anthony on the 14th and 15th amendments. After she died on November 11, 1880, what she did continued, and still continues, to inspire women to stand up every day and speak out about how they need to be treated the same as men.
Seneca Falls was America’s first women’s rights convention. It was the beginning of a battle that would continue all the way up to the 21st century. This two day convention paved a long path way for women to be seen as equal in the eyes of men. Even today, women are still walking this path. However, thanks to Elizabeth Cady Stanton for being able to get women the right to divorce their husbands, Susan B. Anthony for getting women the right to vote, and Martha Coffin Wright and her sister Lucretia Mott for helping women and men recognize that everyone is equal. Regardless of their gender or their race, everyone is equal. All of these women have contributed enormously to American history and how women are viewed in modern America.
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