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Women’s Rights

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  1. Women’s Rights

  2. Women have been fighting for equal rights for centuries in the areas of education, politics, and in jobs. • The women’s rights movement can be seen in 4 distinct movements in American history: • Abolitionist Movement • Temperance Movement • Prohibition Movement • Progressive Movement

  3. Women and Abolition • Abolitionist Movement began in the 1830’s • Through working in this movement, women realized their own lack of rights

  4. Women and Abolition • They learned how to publicize and organize political protests. • Advocates included Sarah and Angelina Grimke, Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. • Woman still faced many problems as the male abolitionists forced the women to be silent or excluded them from their “all-male” rallies.

  5. World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840 • Elizabeth C. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony met and formed their partnership after being the first women to attend. • Women’s Loyal League • 1863 • Formed by Stanton and Anthony • Collected almost 400,000 signatures on a petition calling for an amendment banning slavery.

  6. Seneca Falls Convention (1848) • First women's rights convention • Location: Seneca Falls, NY

  7. Men also attended this meeting to show their support • Men who supported the women’s movement during this time included: • Wendell Phillips • William Lloyd Garrison • Theodore Weld

  8. The Temperance Movement • Ran parallel to the abolitionist movement • The goal was to greatly reduce (but not abolish) alcohol consumption in America for 2 reasons: • 1. To reduce domestic violence • 2. Because spending money on large amounts of alcohol was wasteful

  9. The first temperance society was formed in 1793 • The movement died down for a while shortly afterward • American Temperance Society (1826) • Had over 1.5 million members and over 15 journals advocating their beliefs by 1839

  10. Women and the Temperance Movement • Women’s Christian Temperance Union • Founded in Fredonia, NY in 1873 • Excluded blacks, Catholics, and Jews in hopes of improving their chances of success and respect from the men. • Oldest non-secretarian women’s society in the world • Largest Temperance union and the largest women’s organization prior to 1900

  11. Leading WCTU figure: Mary Hunt • Also a big advocate of education for women • The WCTU and other unions achieved their goal with the passage of the 18th amendment and Volstead Act in 1919 • This began the Prohibition Era

  12. Education for Women • Women’s Colleges: • Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Vassar, Smith, Radcliffe, Bryn Mawr, Barnard College. • All established between 1837 and 1889 in the Northeast • Amongst the Top Colleges in the country • Deemed the “Seven Sisters” in 1927

  13. In the early 19th and 20th centuries women could only attend public schools, they did have the option of private education. • In 1870, only .7% of women attended college • By 1920, 7.6% of women were attending

  14. Critics of Women’s Education • Women were still regarded as inferior and less intelligent than men • Professor Edward Clark published Sex in Education: or a Fair Chance for the Girls (1873) • This book stated that higher education would actually cause women to become infertile • Critics such as this spurred women onward to make a difference and improve their lives with equal rights

  15. Prohibition Movement • Originated in the 1840’s but was mostly dominated by church denominations • Primarily the Methodists • WCTU and the Anti-Saloon League were very influential in local legislatures, as many passed “dry” laws.

  16. Key Women in Prohibition • Frances Willard--- “the forgotten feminist” • President of WCTU, strove for many social reforms • Credited for organizing the prohibition movement • Abigail Duniway • First woman to speak in front of a state legislature • Founded Oregon State’s Women’s Suffrage Association • Published The New Northwest a weekly progressive news publication

  17. Prohibition Party (1869) wanted to “protect the dignity of the individual and the welfare of the family” • Results: • January 16, 1919 18th Amendment • Banned the sale, manufacture, and transport of alcohol in U.S. • 1920 Volstead Act • Reinforced the 18th Amendment

  18. Progressive Movement • 1900-1920 • Social and Scientific Developments, especially for women • Urbanization and Industrialization • More entertainment (including Department Stores) • Many new jobs available outside of the home • Women began to speak and act more independently and find freedom

  19. Working Women • “Educated Motherhood” was prominent • Women were having fewer children, so they had time to raise and care for them properly • In 1900, 18.8% of women held jobs outside the home • By 1920, this had risen to 24% • Men felt threatened by this rise in employment of women

  20. Working Women’s Organizations • Consumer’s League- (1890) helped to enact protective legislation for women • Ex: Mercantile Inspection Act of 1896, limiting work hours and child labor. • They also helped women’s rights advocates to unionize by helping to change public opinions.

  21. Women’s Suffrage • Thanks to the efforts of many generations of women and the support of President Woodrow Wilson, ratification of the 19th Amendment (women’s suffrage) came in 1920.

  22. ERA • Equal Rights Amendment- proposed in 1923 in attempts to guarantee equal rights for women in all areas • Despite protests especially in the 1970’s, the ERA has still not been passed • ERA has been reintroduced in every Congress since 1982, though greatly reduced...it still has not passed