During the 1800’s, a period of reform and revolution had begun. Reforms such as the abolition movement, the common school reform, and also the prison reform had taken place. In addition to all these reforms, it was the women’s rights reform that stood out the most. Women throughout America joined this cause, but as always in a reform, there was opposition to the movement They felt differently about this cause, they felt that women should be under the protection of men, and that all property of the women should belong to the men as well. The opposition was not all men either, some women had disagreed with this reform as well.
After fighting for the rights of African-Americans, a lot of women abolitionists started to fight for women’s rights. They felt that they had to defend their right to speak in public. One (Aren’t there two of them?) of the more famous activists for women’s rights were the Grimke Sisters, especially Sarah Grimké. Sarah Grimké was a writer, and an abolitionist. She wrote books such as Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and The Condition of Women. In these books she wrote about how the men were prosecuting the women, not letting them have the same rights and privileges as men. Another strong and powerful supporter of both abolition and women’s rights was Sojourner Truth. Truth was born into slavery with the name Isabella Baumfree, yet she changed her name because she felt that it was her mission to be a sojourner/traveler, and spread the truth. Sojourner Truth was a tall, and confident speaker. Her speeches about women’s rights are still quoted today. 1840 marked an important year for the women’s rights reform. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott started to form a group or meeting to discuss women’s rights. It was eight years before the group or society was finally recognized. At the Seneca Falls Convention, the first public meeting about women’s rights in America. It was there that they wrote the Declaration of Sentiments, a document that outlined the beliefs about the injustice towards women. Women such as Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony were viewed as leaders of the women’s rights reform.
Like any reform, there was opposition. Many people disagreed with the ideas or goals of the women’s rights movement. Not only did men disagree with this movement, but some women as well. The women believed that they did not require new rights; they believed that they were not unequal to men, but they were just different. Men argued that the women required the