Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Women's Rights Movement

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Women's Rights Movement

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Women's Rights Movement


     Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born November 12, 1815, in Johnstown, New
York. She was the fourth of six children. Later she would meet and marry Henry B.
Stanton, a prominent abolitionist. Together they would have seven children.
Although Elizabeth never went to college she was very learned in Greek and
mathematics. During her life, Elizabeth was a very important person to the
women's rights movement. This paper will present to you the difficulties she
encountered and her major contributions.
     Nothing is easy when you are trying to change the opinion of the world.
In the nineteenth century it was only harder if you were a woman. Elizabeth
Stanton not only faced opposition from the outside world but also from those
closest to her. After her only brother died she tried to please her father by
studying and doing the things that her brother had done. Her father's response
was that he wished she had been a boy. Her high hope of working with her husband
to abolish slavery was shattered when she was not allowed to enter into the
conventions. She, as a woman, was told to keep silent and to do her work quietly.
Who better than her husband, who champions the rights of black people, should
understand and applaud her work. However, that was not the case. During the
Seneca Falls convention that she had organized, her husband left town rather
than witness here propose the idea of women's suffrage to the group. When she
lectured she was often booed and hissed at. She suffered much at the hands of
the media. The only support that she ever received was from her fellow
suffragists. This did not stop her from continuing her work and becoming an
integral part to the early women's rights movement.
     With seven children and an entire household to manage, Elizabeth Cady
Stanton somehow found time to help found the women's rights movement. Her
contributions were considerable. After attending an abolitionist convention in
London she decided to concentrate her work on the rights of women. Her first
cause was that of Divorce. She believed that people ought to be able to obtain a
divorce on any grounds. She also championed the married women's property act.
Perhaps one of her greatest contribution she had was the Seneca Falls convention.
There she helped draft the Declaration of Sentiments. This was a list of twelve
items that were unfair to women. The twelfth, concerning women's right to vote,
would probably have not been included if it was not for Elizabeth.

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She later
published the Women's Bible in two volumes. These books refuted the idea that
God had set man to rule over women.
     Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked hard for a thankless task. She received
opposition from every where, even the women whom she was championing. She never
saw the results of the fire that she lit. There is no doubt that the women's
rights movement would have started without her but it would probably not have
started when it did. It would also have lacked some of its fire. Without
Elizabeth Cady Stanton we might not have some of the rights that we enjoy today.
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