Women's Suffrage Movement

Topics: Women's suffrage, Women's rights, Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pages: 5 (2701 words) Published: October 28, 2014

Women’s Suffrage Movement
By: Sarah Rodey
MODERN AMERICA: 1900 TO 1945
HIST 364 6380
Professor Steven Sharoff
September 26, 2014

How did the Women’s Suffrage Movement change America? At one point in time it was thought that a women’s place was barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. The question is when did this idea change, how did it change, and who help change this image of women? The Women’s Suffrage Movement was a long and delicate process, starting in 1840 when Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were barred from attending a World Anti-Slavery Convention held in London (NWHM). Even though the event did not take place in the United States it fueled the fire for the Women’s Suffrage Movement. There are those who were against the movement and allied themselves with the anti-suffrage movement. One of those people was an independent woman and a member of the politically-active Roosevelt Family, Kate Shippen Roosevelt opposed women gaining the right to vote.  In her diary, written from 1912-19, Mrs. Roosevelt, the widow of Theodore Roosevelt’s first cousin, Hilborne L. Roosevelt, often expressed her negative views on this heated debate. Describing women’s right to vote as, “simply unnecessary,” Mrs. Roosevelt did not mince words.  She along with, for the most part middle to upper-middle class, conservative Protestants like herself subscribed to the notion that women were biologically destined to be childbearers and homemakers (Hazard). Unfortunately there were those that became violent. During one of the largest protest of the suffrage movement, many protesters were assaulted by those in the crowd who opposed the women's right-to-vote campaign. Attacks ranged from spitting and throwing of objects to all-out physical assaults. While many women were injured, the public was outraged at the violence that translated to wider support for the suffrage movement (Gibson Aug 12, 2011). It was not until August of 1920 the nineteenth Amendment was ratified giving women the full right to vote (NWHM). These events and every event in-between of the Women’s Suffrage Movement changed America’s image of women forever. The Women’s Suffrage Movement gave women equal rights, the right to vote, to own property, and fair wages, and educational opportunities; where before the movement women where thought of the lesser sex meant only for having children and taking care of the home. The journey for women’s rights started over 100 years before the passing of the 19th amendment. In 1776 Abigail Adams writes to her husband, John, who is attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, asking that he and the other men--who were at work on the Declaration of Independence--"Remember the Ladies." John responds with humor. The Declaration's wording specifies that "all men are created equal." The meaning behind this is that men (women not included) are all equal. The future first lady never hesitated to debate her husband on political matters. She begged Adams to draft laws that were "more generous and favorable" to women than his predecessors had. As history would have it, this is not the end but the beginning of the battle for women’s rights. In 1833, the American Anti-Slavery Society was formed. William Lloyd Garrison, one of the leaders of the society, was fervently for women's rights. Unfortunately the other members were not. When women were not allowed to sign the Declaration of Purposes, they formed the Female Anti-Slavery Society as an answer. The society spread and it became the target of much criticism. There was strong opposition to abolition and even stronger opposition toward the female abolition societies. Meetings were often mobbed and the hall was burnt down where the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women was being held. Such violence against women when the women were fighting for other’s rights. This would not be the last acts of violence towards women fighting for their rights and the rights of others. In...
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