HIST 2010 Paper 2

Submitted By Brooke-Tussey
Words: 1495
Pages: 6

Brooke Tussey
HIST 2010
History: Paper 2 Equality is defined as the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunity. In the years between the American Revolution and the end of the Mexican War, equality was not a common concept amongst the people. Between class divisions and race and gender oppression, the only people that seemed to get all of the privileges promised by the Declaration of Independence were white men. Out of all of the different groups who suffered from inequality though, it was the uprising of women calling for social justice that caused the biggest impact on society then and today. There is one opinion in particular as well that stood out as being the voice of women of that particular generation, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions.” Like stated earlier, it looked to the majority of people that the only citizens who gained full rights of the Declaration of Independence were Caucasian men. But why was that? The document specifically states “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Yes, the document does use the term men instead of men and women, but we were all created equally in the eyes of the Lord despite what gender we were born. This is why Stanton’s particular speech stands out. She uses the declaration as a guide to get her voice heard about the varying rights that women were denied just because of their sex. It is the fact that she takes such an iconic and historically significant document and modifies it to become her own that has the most eye opening impact on the mindsets of others. Stanton opens up her argument by changing one of the, if not the most well-known statements of the document. She states “that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” With this adjustment, she makes the statement that any American should be given the same rights as any other and that it should not matter if you are a male or female. She continues to say that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security”. In other words, Stanton is pointing out that fact any American citizen has the ability to overturn the government if they feel as if they are abusing their power. It is this kind of uproar that Stanton is asking for. She says that for women in America that oppression has gone on for far too long and that “is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled”. She is calling for all women to speak up and have their voices heard when it comes to this issue. They have gone way too long as just being a bystander and having their opinions be broadcasted to the public. Many women were still timid and not quite ready to be as vocal about their thoughts, but Stanton tried to use this as a motivator for them to gain the confidence to stand up for what it was they believed in. Stanton then proceeds to list off varying rights that “man”, or the government as a whole, has not permitted women to partake in. One of the most important issues that she voices her opinion about is the fact that women are not permitted to vote which in turn robs her of the ability to have a voice when it comes to choosing who could possibly push for a change for women in America. Another statement that is made that particularly stands out is when she says “He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men, both natives and foreigners.” Stanton goes as far to make the comparison that women are not granted the same rights that men, no matter how barbaric and