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Women and Freedom

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  • September 3, 2010
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1 August, 2009

Women and freedom movement from Civil War 1865 through Progressive Era 1920.

The first women’s Rights convention was held in 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York. Elizabeth Cady Stanton gave a speech about the Declaration of Sentiments. During this speech she declared that men and women are created equal. This is truly considered the beginning of the women’s movement. Elizabeth was concerned about more than just women’s vote. She was an advocate for women’s health, education, custody rights, property rights, birth control and employment.

The women’s rights movement continued to grow until the Civil War. During the Civil War Elizabeth knew that Women’s rights would have to wait until the war was over. Women began putting their efforts working for Abolitionist knowing that women’s freedoms would surely come at the same time.

The Civil War ended April 9th 1865 and in December Congress pass the 13th Amendment officially abolishing slavery in the United States. Everyone’s lives were about to change, especially the lives of black women in the south. They were the hardest hit by these new economic times.

The south was poor after the war and in a period of reconstruction. The Federal Government was trying to rebuild the south. Although the 13th Amendment had abolished slavery the southern whites were determine to keep the freed slaves in their place, both social and economic. Several of the state legislatures voted in “Black Codes” to keep control over the African Americans. These “Black Codes” also known as Jim Crow laws were considered slavery in disguise. The Klu Klux Klan (KKK) was founded in Tennessee in 1865 and began as Confederate Soldiers dressed up in robes with hoods and they would ride in the middle of the night to black’s home and torture them, lynch them and burn their property. There were very few women killed by the KKK ,