Sunday, March 14, 2010

Women's Suffrage

As a young 8-year-old girl, I never thought much about not having the same rights as my younger brother. Like my own daughter, I always thought of myself as equal to anyone and entitled to the same opportunities as anyone else. However, as my daughter discovered this week while doing a project on Susan B. Anthony, this has not always been the case for women in the United States.

Abigail Adams is an early example of women asking for equal rights when she wrote to her husband John Adams to remember the ladies while writing the laws of the new nation. In 1848, the first women’s rights convention occurred in Seneca Falls presided by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton resulting in the document “Declaration of Sentiments” which was modeled after the Declaration of Independence and began “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal.” Additionally, they outlined their grievances which were unanimously adopted except for the suffrage resolution which some attendees felt was too radical for the time. Soon members of the women’s rights movement rallied around the right to vote as the ultimate way to guarantee their rights and freedom.

In 1878 Susan B. Anthony wrote the Women’s Suffrage Amendment that read “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” At first known as the Sargent Amendment for Senator Arlen A. Sargent of California who first proposed it to the Senate was introduced in each succeeding congress until 1919 when the Senate passed the Anthony amendment.

This topic easily lends itself to a time-line assignment, but to learn more about the Women’s Suffrage Movement visit some of these web resources
Scholastic for Teachers
Suffrage history

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