Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an important element of the Women’s Rights Movement, but not many people know of her significance or contributions because she has been overshadowed by her long time associate and friend, Susan B. Anthony. However, I feel that she was a woman of great importance who was the driving force behind the 1848 Convention, played a leadership role in the women’s rights movement for the next fifty years, and in the words of Henry Thomas, “She was the architect and author of the movement’s most important strategies ad documents.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in 1815 into an affluent family in Johnstown, New York. Now, while Stanton was growing up, she tried to imitate her brother’s academic achievements due to the fact that her parents, Daniel and Mary Livingston Cady, preferred their sons to their daughters. In trying to copy her male siblings, she got an extraordinary education: she went to Johnstown Academy and studied Greek and mathematics; she learned how to ride and manage a horse; she became a skilled debater; and she attended the Troy Female Seminary in New York (one of the first women ‘s academies to offer an advanced education equal to that of male academies) where she studies logic, physiology, and natural rights philosophy.
However, it wasn’t her education, but watching her father, who was a judge and lawyer, handle his cases, that cause her to become involved in various movements because it was in court with her father that she saw firsthand how women suffered legal discrimination. It was here that she realized that the laws were unfair and resolved to do whatever she could to change them. She used her unique ability to draw from wide-ranging sources in legal areas as well as in political and literary areas. With her knowledge of literature, he created narratives that produced a variety of emotions ranging from delight to destruction.
However, as this was going on, another important even took place. In 1840, Elizabeth married abolitionist organizer and journalist, Henry Stanton. Over the course of their marriage, Elizabeth and Henry had seven children in the next fifteen years, but even with the responsibility of taking care of her children, Stanton found time to do many other things to further the rights of others. For instance, the very same year ...
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...s and upheld her views, even though she began to experience spiritual isolation and a great deal of criticism from many of the clergy, modern day feminists who disagreed with her methods and ideologies, and the general public, leading her to publish The Women’s Bible in 1895, a study of sexism in the Old Testament. The Women’s Bible consisted of all the texts concerning women and the main purpose of this revision was to expose the contradictions and the traditional teachings and interpretations in regard to women of the time.
This work was rejected by many of the more conservative elements in the movement and a storm of protest arose as many of her colleagues condemned her. When she dies in 1902, she was no longer the movement’s leader and was unfortunately, not around to see women’s suffrage in the United States. Her crusade lasted for over fifty years of her life, as she learned and profited from her mistakes and failures, realizing that everything isn’t perfect. Even though she has been dead for quite some time now, her concerns, ideas, and accomplishments have endured and continue to influence the feminist movement and other movements for progress in the twentieth century.
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