Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Women's Movement in the United States Essay

The Women's Movement in the United States - Essay Example This paper shall describe and explain the women’s movement from 1848 to 1920, including the social and political events which eventually led to the 19th Amendment. Various major feminist groups fighting for women’s right to vote will also be discussed; a comparison of these groups would also be considered. A discussion on why the women’s movement faltered during the 1920s after women got the right to vote shall also be considered. This paper is being discussed in an attempt to establish a comprehensive discussion on women’s rights, including its highlights and how these highlights impacted on the current rights being enjoyed by women. Although major moves towards the establishment of women’s rights were first seen in 1948, previous actions to secure it were already being sought through smaller and minor activities and movements even before 1948 by women and different organizations. Angelina and Sarah Grimke are two of the women best known for their contribution to the establishment of women’s rights. They went through slavery and wrote various literature expressing their negative opinions about it. Angelina Grimke, in 1938, was the first woman to address the Massachusetts legislative body on the abolition of slavery; she also strongly expressed her desire for women’s equality and full citizenship. Other abolitionists also expressed their outrage against sexual discrimination and in 1848 they organized the first Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls New York. In their Declaration of Sentiments, echoes of the Declaration of Independence were heard, pointing out that â€Å"all men and women are created equal† and therefore, they share the same inalienable rights – those of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Their declaration also expressed the need to change government policies, especially those which have traditionally been oppressive towards women. This Convention also supported various declarations, especially those which relate to legal and educational reforms which were not gender prejudiced. Finally, the convention also resolved that women had the right to secure their inherent right to vote. Their demands were immediately rejected and even scorned, especially by the religious leaders and other male leaders. Only few men expressed any form of support for women’s rights and sentiments. The women were however persistent in their objectives and they found allies in each other. Two of these close allies were Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony whose persistence found their way to the pages of the book ‘History of Woman Suffrage.’ The American Civil War momentarily interrupted the women’s rights movement, however, the war was also able to secure one of the goals of the abolitionists – the abolition of slavery. As soon as the war ended, the women again persisted in the cries for equal opportunities and equal rights. T hey believed that since efforts were also being made to grant black men their votes, they too should be granted the same right to vote. These hopes would however be dashed as their persistence was apparently falling on deaf ears. They were continually being turned down and suppressed in their fight for equal rights. As a result, the women’s movement was split and became less effective in the years that would follow. In 1868, women’s rights to vote became even more endangered when the

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