Seneca Falls Convention
The Seneca Falls convention of 1848 marked the beginning of the seventy-year struggle for women’s suffrage. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a veteran of the antislavery crusade was the principal author of the Declaration of Sentiments adopted at Seneca Falls, the town in upstate New York where she lived. Modeled on the Declaration of Independence, the document added “women” to Jefferson’s axiom, “all men are created equal.” And in place of Jefferson’s list of injustices committed by King George III, Stanton condemned the “injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman.” The first to be listed was denying her the right to vote. As Stanton told the convention, only the vote would make women “free as man is free,” since in a democratic society, freedom was impossible without the ballot. The vote, however was hardly the only issue raised at the convention. Equal rights became the rallying cry of the early movement for women’s rights, and equal rights meant claiming access to all the prevailing definitions of American freedom.
Use this Link for Declaration of Sentiments: https://www.nps.gov/wori/learn/historyculture/declaration-of-sentiments.htm
For this assignment, you are to read Declaration of Sentiments, the centerpiece of the Seneca Falls Convention (which by the way, took place this month, 170 years ago!). Once you finish reading the article you must answer the following questions:
- What are the key demands, other than the right to vote, put forward by the Seneca Falls Convention?
- How does the Declaration seem to define freedom for women?
- What additional injustices can be added to the Declaration today, that would continue to make the Declaration relevant? Here are some things to consider in answering this question: wage gap, percentage of CEOs that are women, underepresenation in government, difference in “moral codes” for men and women, etc…