The women's suffrage movement began in Seneca Falls, New York during a convention on the rights of women.Seneca Falls was a progressive town but even here, Elizabeth Cady Stanton's call for suffrage was controversial.Voting and politics were seen as completely male domains and it was shocking to think of women involved in either. The primary argument of suffragists was that they were being denied one of the most basic rights of Democracy.They were expected to live under laws which they could not vote for and pay taxes to a government which didn't represent them.Men were only half of the population but they were in charge of all of the decisions.Not only was it unfair, it went against the way God intended things to be.
Women and men were different.To create a balanced society, they must both be allowed to have influence. In 1848, women were treated as the property of men.They didn't have rights to property or to their children.It was legal for a man to beat his wife.They were taxed but denied representation in congress.
Their sphere of influence was in the home.The Seneca Falls Declaration called for an increase in women's rights in these areas, as well as in education for women and the jobs available to them.It stated that women were morally obligated to resist their tyrannical and oppressive government.This unfair treatment wasn't only unjust, it went against God.The Declaration was not well received by much of the public but it set off a wave of women's rights meetings throughout the 1850's.
It was after one of these meetings that Stanton met Susan B. Anthony.This meeting had a profound influence on the future of the women's movement.Together, Stanton and Anthony founded the National Women's Suffrage Association in 1869.This association was one of the central forces in the movement for women's suffrage.
Sojourner Truth was one of …