The Women’s Rights Movement
Women’s Suffrage is a subject that could easily be considered a black mark on the history of the United States. The entire history of the right for women to vote takes many twists and turns but eventually turned out alright. This paper will take a look at some of these twists and turns along with some of the major figures involved in the suffrage movement.
The first recorded instance in American history where a woman demanded the right to vote was in 1647. Margaret Brent, a property owner in Maryland wanted two votes in the newly formed colonial assembly to represent her vote and the vote of Lord Baltimore whom she held power-of-attorney. (Pleck, 2007) The governor eventually turned down her demands. The 1790 constitution of New Jersey allowed women property owners the right to vote through a loophole that stated that “all inhabitants” that met property and residence requirements could vote. This loophole was closed in 1807 by a state legislator that had almost lost an election due to a women’s voting bloc. Other than these isolated incidents the first organized women’s suffrage movement can be traced back to the mid 1800’s with the Seneca Falls Convention.
The organized movement started at Seneca Falls, NY with a meeting called by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. (National Women's History Museum, 2007) Both women received their start in the women’s suffrage movement by being active in the abolitionist movement. 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 longtime 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...
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