American Federal Government
April 6, 2013
In the early days of American society, women were treated almost as badly as slaves, viewed as property; someone to give birth, raise the children, and keep the home. It was the men who were allowed to vote and actually own a home, and for a long span of time the only job a woman could obtain was one working in a factory under very dangerous conditions. Even in the earliest days of America, women longed for rights equal to men as John Adam’s wife” urged him to include women in drafting the nation’s founding documents” (Gateways to democracy chapter five). However, no rights for women were mentioned in the original documents of the United States. The women of America sat silently for many years, and had begun to lose all hope for equality until the Seneca Falls Convention of 1884, which was the first national meeting discussing women’s suffrage. From this meeting came the Declaration of Sentiments, which stated that men and women were created equal, and that all women had an inalienable right to vote. This meeting was a small setback for women’s rights activists in that it brought forth no results to help further women’s suffrage. By the late 1800’s, women were still shunned in the political arena of life, and most men agreed that a woman’s place was in the home. Women were still viewed as inferior to men in every aspect. In 1869, the NWSA was created which lobbied for women to have the right to vote. A woman attempted to vote, stating that the fourteenth amendment allowed her to vote. The supreme court however, ruled that citizenship does not imply the right to vote (Gateways to democracy chapter five). Throughout the 1800’s the women’s rights movement continued to make little progress. The government continued to push women’s suffrage aside, silently hoping it would die off and VanWinkle 2
that women across America would give in to male authority and give up....