Which Ideas from the Declaration of Independence Support Women's Suffrage: Critical Essay

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The blissful trees shimmered in the sunlight, dancing to the gentle wind, staying away from the dullness of the dense city filled with bigoted humans. The conservative metropolis, populated with children and adults, yell out prejudiced statements throughout the streets of New York City in the 1840s: “Women are stupid. They don't deserve the right to vote!” “Hey, smile for me, pretty lady, that's the least you can do!” All of this commotion was seen as a norm. No prayers or wishes were made for change by anyone. However, a glimpse of hope for women’s rights would arise as in the middle of the chaos, stood a figure. A female figure. Her name was Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton was one of the many prominent suffragists and feminists during the mid and late 19th century. She strongly believed women were born to be equal to men, rather than nonentities, due to the continued existence of patriarchy in American society. The lack of initiative from politicians for liberal change, only made Stanton more willing to advocate for women's equality, primarily on voting rights. Her only goal was to aspire women to stand up against women's oppression and provide future female generations with a country free of sexism. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a feminist and suffragist, who rebelled against society’s norms and advocated for women’s rights with her devotion to empowering women during a time when society did not care for gender equality.

As a feminist and suffragist, Elizabeth Stanton challenged prejudiced laws against women, to manifest the daunting reality of gender inequality. Risking getting arrested, Stanton organized America’s first women's rights convention in 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York, and “composed a declaration of principles, which described the history of mankind as one of ‘repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.’ Despite opposition, she persuaded the convention to approve a resolution calling for women's suffrage” (“Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” World of Sociology). Elizabeth Cady Stanton, frustrated with the segregation of sexes, compares the mistreatment of women to the infuriating times of colonial America. Her diction use of “tyranny” conveys the truth about how men use their power to control women, just like how England looked down upon the American colonies. Although Stanton did not get arrested for organizing the convention, she was furious about the reluctance of politicians for women's suffrage. Taking matters into her own hands, Stanton decided to write a document, similar to the “Declaration of Independence,” to state that women are entitled to be equal to men. The document Stanton wrote replicated the “Declaration of Independence,” but had the word “women” written throughout. Elizabeth’s work was signed by one-hundred attendees, including Susan B. Anthony. Despite the controversy made against Stanton’s persistence to provide women the right to vote, she disregarded every opposing comment: “Daring to demand the right to vote, Stanton reminded her listeners that all men in the country had the same rights no matter how they differed in mind, body, or position. ‘There can be no true dignity or independence where there is subordination to the absolute will of another, no happiness without freedom.’ Stanton saw that political equality was essential if women were to effectively resist oppression by men” (“Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” Historic World Leaders). Men in the United States were always seen as dominant figures prior to the 20th century, and while women can be just as intelligent and logical, they are not respected because of their gender. The prejudice against the sexes only made Stanton more indignant about this matter. She understood that there was an aristocracy in gender, and challenged to diminish the man’s status quo by having voting rights for women. Supporting the women’s suffrage movement was seen by many, including by some women as unlawful; yet, Elizabeth still held conventions to bring awareness to the lack of change made for women’s voting rights. Elizabeth Cady Stanton resisted society’s norms and rebelled against what reluctant politicians had to say, and solely focused on changing the lives of women for good by advocating for women’s rights.

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Elizabeth dedicated her entire life to prove women deserve voting rights. At a young age, Elizabeth Stanton was able to recognize the major problem American society had: “Stanton first became aware of the injustices against women when she was a child visiting her father's law office. Her visits revealed to her the extent of problems faced by women at that time--especially due to their lack of the right to own property--and the little protection afforded them by the law. Stanton later claimed that she was so angered that she wanted to take a pair of scissors to her father's law books and remove the offending portions, but was dissuaded by her father who explained to her that laws were changed through legislative means” (“Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” Feminist Writers). Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s frequent visits to her father’s office as a child made her realize women did not share the same status as men. In the eyes of many, women were merely just houseworkers, maids, or secretaries; but, unlike others, Elizabeth believed that women were more than that. Her father taught her that change does not come from cowardly politicians or one’s anger, but, rather democracy. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was inspired by her father’s words and believed from that day on that she could change the outdated American Democracy system by making sure women could have a voice in the government by casting a vote. Elizabeth later advocated for women’s suffrage around the country: “In 1869, Stanton began to speak for the New York Lyceum Bureau. For 12 years, she toured the country as a lyceum speaker, focusing on the sexual exploitation of women and the need for the vote. In the years after the Civil War, local women's rights groups sprang up all over the country and women began to enter professions formerly closed to them” (“Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” Historic World Leaders). As she got older, Elizabeth Stanton’s infirmity prevented her from continuing her work as an advocate for women’s rights: “[She] did not live to see the consummation of her efforts to win the right to vote for women. She died at the age of [eighty-six]. She showed her strength and optimism until the end (“Stanton/Anthony Friendship”) Elizabeth Stanton believed the future of America should not be upheld by men only, but by women too. The American Democracy system was built to allow everyone to vote for what they believed. Every voter has a voice in the government; prohibiting women to vote was not a true democracy. After the first woman's rights convention in 1848, Stanton was aware the event attracted little attention to politicians. She knew the only way to provide women with voting rights was to gain more supporters. One hundred clearly was not enough. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was devoted to women’s suffrage and traveled around the country convincing people to support the women’s rights movement. Her dedication to providing women's rights paid off, as there was a dramatic increase in supporters. Sadly, as Stanton got older, she became unhealthy and ill and passed away. Her work led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, eighteen years after her death. From a young age to death, Elizabeth Cady Stanton never backed down from any challenge and dedicated her entire life to making sure women's suffrage was allowed in America.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a rebellious feminist and suffragist, who always cared for the betterment of the women community. Her initiative brought women a new perspective on what America should be: a place of gender equality. Elizabeth’s life revolved around advocating for women’s suffrage and empowering women to stand up against women's oppression. She inspired women to be more than what other men labeled them: maids, cooks, and clerks. Any woman can be what they desire, and should not be made fun of for doing so. Elizabeth Stanton’s long dedication and work brought women voting rights to America in 1920, and a better place for future generations of young girls in America. Stanton inspires many men and women to fight for what they believe in, even if society says otherwise. The blissful trees now shimmer in the sunlight, dancing along to the gentle wind, swaying to the dense city filled with content humans. The metropolis is now untroubled.

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Which Ideas from the Declaration of Independence Support Women’s Suffrage: Critical Essay. (2023, September 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/which-ideas-from-the-declaration-of-independence-support-womens-suffrage-critical-essay/
“Which Ideas from the Declaration of Independence Support Women’s Suffrage: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 19 Sept. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/which-ideas-from-the-declaration-of-independence-support-womens-suffrage-critical-essay/
Which Ideas from the Declaration of Independence Support Women’s Suffrage: Critical Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/which-ideas-from-the-declaration-of-independence-support-womens-suffrage-critical-essay/> [Accessed 23 Jul. 2024].
Which Ideas from the Declaration of Independence Support Women’s Suffrage: Critical Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Sept 19 [cited 2024 Jul 23]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/which-ideas-from-the-declaration-of-independence-support-womens-suffrage-critical-essay/

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