Primary Source Essay

Topics: Women's suffrage, Seneca Falls Convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pages: 6 (2418 words) Published: November 10, 2008
Primary Source Essay Assignment
In my point of view, history portrays the past. While reading a American history book, people would only focus on the essential events that trigger their emotions; however, they should recognize the American history are dominated by three elements- race, class, and gender. In the rest of the assignment, I would use several primary sources documents to analyze how gender had made a big impact in the American history. It would signify the hardships that women endured in different period of time which began with women proclaimed the right to vote; next, young girls opened to the environment and worked in urban areas; then, the success of women suffrage; lastly, losing their own identity. From the early 1800s, the role of women was perceived as a subordinate to their husbands. After a long term oppression and lack of respect by the public, women thought they should make an appeal to restore their rights back. Declaration of Sentiments was signed among a group of female activists in Seneca Falls in New York on July 19, 1848. The document had been the first document that women claimed their right to vote in American history which could be divided into three sections where stated the reasons of going rights of women, statements of how men had abused women’s rights, and the resolutions. The last two pages were the script of a speech given by Elizabeth Stanton in the meeting to discuss why women should stand up to proclaim their rights. It has set to be a significant moment to all American women where this document signifies the first action of women suffrage and awaked the public that the rights of women should be granted. The women participated in this function pointed out several reasons of why public needed to grant women’s rights. According to Declaration of Sentiments, it states “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal” (2). As all men and women are created equal and men are given the right to vote, women should have the right of it as well. It also indicates how men severely had abused women’s rights “He has compelled her to submit to laws in the formation of which she had no voice. He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men, both natives and foreigners. He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns” (Declaration of Sentiments 3). Obviously, men did not treat women as human beings which women were always being ignored in the public. The Declaration of Sentiments was not written by one person but by the effort of a group of women who advocated women rights where some of them were popular activists, for instance, Catharine Beecher, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony. Furthermore, there were men involved in the writing who were the supporters of Abolitionists, for instance, Frederick Douglas. The reason why they were full of passion on granting women’s rights is “only to be turned away by the men who controlled the proceedings. Angered at the rejection” (The Unfinished Nation 188). In 1840, they attended a convention about anti-slavery where they rejected by the men in the convention. Afterward, they all agreed that before they were given a chance to participate in the convention, they needed to grant their own rights first. Thus, they had this Seneca fall convention in New York. The movement of women suffrage continued until 1920 when women rights were officially proclaimed by the government. Without their passion and determination, women nowadays might not have equal rights as men. When people no longer found that farming as profitable as having a job in urban city and factories were in need large amount of unskilled workers, women went to get a job in the textile factories. The primary source document, Factory Girl’s Garland, is a newspaper especially selling to young girls who worked in the factories in the late 1800s. As most of them worked diligently,...
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