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Reconstruction and Women’s Rights Movement

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The woman’s rights movement paved the way for the future of woman’s roles today and how they are able to contribute in today’s society. I believe it is one of the most monumental events in history and their hard work towards achieving greatness goes unnoticed. The women’s rights movement advocated to achieve full civil rights in this country. Over the past seven generations, dramatic social and legal changes have been accomplished that are now so accepted that they go unnoticed by people whose lives they have utterly changed. The staggering changes for women that have come about over those seven generations in family life, in religion, in government, in employment and education, these changes did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen and they didn’t go down without a fight. Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature.

Seven generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolence resistance. They have worked very deliberately to create a better world, and they have succeeded hugely. Many people who have lived through the recent decades of this process have come to accept blithely what has transpired. Younger people, for the most part, can hardly believe life was ever otherwise. They take the changes completely in stride, as how life has always been.

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The women’s rights movement of the late 19th century went on to address the wide range of issues spelled out at the Seneca Falls Convention. Elizabeth Candy Stanton and women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth traveled the country lecturing and organizing for the next forty years. They were patriotic women, sharing the ideal of improving the new republic. Women activists saw Reconstruction as a perfect time to claim their own emancipation. They saw their mission as helping the republic keep its promise of better, more egalitarian lives for its citizens. Women’s rights camps have shaped a lot of our human society. Women were considered only as objects to work, they were not given any freedom, rights, or education. The only work they were good enough for was as servants.

The turning point came in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, when the nation experienced a surge of volunteerism among middle class women-activists in progressive causes, members of women’s clubs and professional societies, temperance advocates, and participants in local civic and charity organizations. Not everyone favored these organizations, Radical Republicans cared less for women’s suffrage and insisted the Reconstruction era was the ‘Negro’s hour’. These measures resulted in a bitter split between feminists and Radical Republicans and within feminist circles. This created two hostile women’s rights organizations 1869. The National Woman Suffrage Association led by Stanton opposed the Fifteenth Amendment because it did nothing to enfranchise women. The American Woman Suffrage Association led by Lucy Stone insisted that’s despite their limitations, the reconstruction amendments represented steps in the direction of truly universal suffrage and should be supported. The determination of these women to expand their sphere of activities further outside of the home helped legitimize the suffrage movement and provided momentum for the NWSA and AWSA. By the 1890 seeking to capitalize on their newfound constituency, the two groups united to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Led initially by Stanton and then by Anthony, the NAWSA began to draw on the support of women activists in organization as diverse as the Women’s Trade Union League, The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and the Nationals Consumers League.

This movement granted women more political rights like property rights. The women’s suffrage movement is important because it resulted in passage of the nineteenth amendment to the US constitution, which finally allowed women the right to vote. Women were a poor, unarmed, and disenfranchised class when they first organized to gain political power. The struggle for the ballot took over seventy years of constant, determined campaigning, yet it didn’t take a single life. Its achievement has lasted. Thanks to this, women have the rights they do today, and unfortunately continue to face other issues.

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Reconstruction and Women’s Rights Movement. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 3, 2023, from
“Reconstruction and Women’s Rights Movement.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
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