Women's Suffrage Movement

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The ability to vote in the United States changed dramatically in the early years of the country, changing from only white males who were property owners to almost all white males around 1850. Between 1807 and 1890, women were not allowed to vote, although by 1870 all men including former slaves were allowed to vote. The Women’s Suffrage Movement can be traced back to the “Declaration of Sentiments”, from a women’s rights convention that was held in Seneca Falls, N.Y. in 1848. Suffragists challenged the views of traditional roles of women, believing that all women should have a voice in political affairs, and the right to back up their voices with a vote.

The 1830’s played an important role in initiating important changes in America, such as societies for moral-reform, religious movements, and anti-slavery sentiment. Women were beginning to take leadership roles in many of these groups and movements, and the traditional role of women in society was questioned by those who found their roles more than just common housewife or mother (A&E, 2011). Among the women who questioned traditional roles for females in society were Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.

Stanton and Mott were reformists that believed that the Declaration of Independence should have read “that all men and women were created equal” and that all women should have the right to vote just as men did. In 1840, Stanton and Mott attended an anti-slavery convention, but they were refused the right to speak or even be seated. This event would lead Stanton and Mott to conclude that if they were to help free the slaves that they would first need to secure basic rights for women. Although eight years would pass, Stanton and Mott would hold the histo...

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