Equal Rights Amendment Reflection
The new Constitution’s promised rights were fully enjoyed only by certain white males. Women were treated according to social tradition and English common law and were denied most legal rights. In general they could not vote, own property, keep their own wages, or even have custody of their children. This lack of rights leads to an uprising of woman activist. The 19th Amendment affirming women’s right to vote steamrolled out of Congress in 1919, this was the first step toward equality. In 1923, in Seneca Falls in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Woman’s Rights Convention, introduced the "Lucretia Mott Amendment," which read: "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction." The amendment was introduced in every session of Congress until it passed in reworded form in 1972. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would uphold the equal application of the Constitution to all citizens, granting freedom from legal sex discrimination. The Equal Rights Amendment passed the U.S. Senate and then the House of Representatives, and on March 22, 1972, the proposed 27th Amendment to the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification. The ERA only got 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications in the seven-year deadline on the ratification process, but with the passing of the 27th Amendment and its 203-year ratification period. The ERA was granted an extension of acknowledgement of the 35 states ratification, meaning that the ERA still only needs 3 more states. Alice Paul sounded a call that has great poignancy and significance over 80 years later: "If we keep on this way they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1848 Convention without being much further advanced in equal rights than we are. . . . If we had not concentrated on the Federal Amendment we should be working today for suffrage. . . . We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights...
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