Essay about Women's Rights

Submitted By saggy123
Words: 815
Pages: 4

In 1647, Margaret Brent, a property owner in Maryland demanded the right to vote within the colonial assembly. This marked the first time in American history that a woman campaigned for the right to vote. Brent was denied the right to vote because of her gender. 350 years later, a loophole in New Jersey’s constitution gave women the right to vote. A meager 17 years later however, this loophole was fixed and women lost the right to vote. Other that these incidents, women were unable to overcome the political, economical, social, and cultural women obstacles barring them from the right to vote until the 1900’s. Women’s suffrage began with abolishing slavery. Key future women’s rights leaders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott were all abolitionists before becoming women’s suffragists. African Americans had begun to campaign for equality and women joined forces expecting to be helped by the civil rights activists in overcoming their social obstacles. Women believed that the fight for racial equality and sexual equality were intertwined. However, in 1840 when women were restricted from the World Anti – slavery Convention in London, women realized they needed to have a separate movement and suffrage leaders established a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. During this convention, the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions was written by the suffrage leaders. This document demanded equal rights for women. After the women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, the suffrage movement had a schism of sorts. Women’s rights leaders were split between those that endorsed the 15th amendment and those that did not. Leaders such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton refused to endorse the amendment because it excluded women from the vote. Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe however argued that if black men were given more rights, it would help women achieve their goal. The conflict caused two organizations to emerge, the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association. These two organizations also differed in that the National Women Suffrage Association supported enfranchising women through a federal amendment while the American Women Suffrage Association believed in enfranchising women through state laws. Until 1890, these two groups remained divided and coincidentally, the women’s suffrage movement did not achieve widespread success. In 1890, the two major women’s suffrage organizations were finally able to band together and became the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Susan B. Anthony presided over this association until 1900. When Anthony retired, Carrie Chapman Catt took over and under her presidency, the women’s suffrage movement was finally able to succeed. In 1915, NAWSA began to make significant strides towards completing the process towards amending the constitution in their favor. This process begins with proposing an amendment. In order to propose the amendment, a 2/3 majority in both the house and the senate must vote in favor of the bill. After these two groups vote in favor of the new amendment, the amendment must be ratified by ¾ of all states. In