“The right of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation”
The 1920s are a monument us time for women’s’ rights especially considering it was the first time that the feminist movement made a real impact since their start around the 1850s. It was during these years that being a women meant something. Women were given the right to vote through the 19th amendment at the end of the 1920‘s. While that was the major accomplishment during this time period, there was something happening on a much bigger scale. In homes throughout the country, the very concept of being a woman was changing.
Textbooks, because they are generally written through a man’s perspective, had given young women a horrid reputation. The idea of a women being capable of the same things as their male counterpart was highly unaccepted by society. Some major events that lead to these changes in the view of “women” include the Seneca Falls Convention, First National Women’s Rights Convention, the formation of the National Women Suffrage Association, and prominent women’s rights figure Susan B. Anthony.
On July of 1848, a group of men and women meet in Seneca Falls, New York to discuss legal limitations placed on women. Of the people gathered was a woman of the name Susan B. Anthony who would spark and encourage women rights throughout the 1850-1920’s until the ratification of the 19th amendment. Anthony served to the women of the late 1800’s/early 1900’s as a figure of strength. She spoke for the thousands of voiceless women of this time who longed to be heard. Along her side was Elizabeth Cody Stanton. Anthony and Stanton held meetings and examined the U.S Constitution to determine the rights women were being deprived of. “All men and women were created equal” would be the stressor in the Declaration of Sentiments.
This document, designed to model the Declaration of Independence, reflected the severe limitations on women’s legal rights in America at the time: women could not vote, could not participate in creation of laws but they had to obey them, their property was taxed, in divorce cases children were awarded to man, access to higher education was cut off from women, and churches forbid women to participate in the ministry or hold positions of authority. Women’s duties consisted mostly of household duties and childcare. With the Seneca Falls Convention it feed hope to women that equal rights would be restored but it was just scraping the surface of equality amongst the sexes.
Following the Seneca Falls Convention, other various women’s rights meetings were held. The First National Women’s Rights Convention being the largest of these began in 1850 in Worchester, Massachusetts. For women at this time not much had changed. Curiosity for change had been sparked but no real movements had been made. The First National Women’s Rights Convention approximately attracted 1,000 men and women alike.