Women's Rights


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Women had it difficult in the mid-1800s to early 1900s. There was a difference in the treatment of men and women then. Married women had few rights in the eyes of the law. Women were not even allowed to vote until August 1920. They were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law. There were no chances of women getting an education then because no college or university would accept a female with only a few exceptions. Women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church. They thought they were totally dependent on men.

Then the first Women's Rights Convention was held on July nineteenth and twentieth in 1848. The convention was assembled as planned, and over the two days of discussion, the Declaration of Sentiments and twelve resolutions received agreement and endorsement, one by one, with a few amendments. The only resolution that did not pass unanimously was the call for women's authorization. The thought that women should be allowed to vote in elections was impossible to some. At the convention, debate over the woman's vote was the main concern.

Women's Rights Conventions were held on a regular basis from 1850 until the start of the Civil War. Some drew such large crowds that people had to be turned away for lack of meeting space. The women's rights movement of the late nineteenth century went on to address the wide range of issues spelled out at the Seneca Falls Convention. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth, who were pioneer theorists, traveled the country lecturing and organizing for the next forty years. Winning the right to vote was the key issue, since the vote would provide the means to accomplish the other amendments. The campaign for woman's right to vote ran across so much continuous opposition that it took 72 years for the women and their male supporters to win. They finally received the right to vote in 1920.

There were some very important women involved in the Women's Right Movement. Esther Morris, who was the first woman to hold a judicial position and who led the first successful state campaign for woman's right to vote in 1869. Abigail Scott Duniway was the leader of the successful fight in the early 1900s.

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Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Mary Church Terrell were arrangers of thousands of African-American women who worked for the right to vote for all women. Anna Howard Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt were leaders of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in the early years of the 20th century, who got the campaign to its final success. These women are the reason that women finally got rights in the United States and could be considered the founding mothers of this country.


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