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Women's Rights Movement

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The societal glass feeling that prevented women from gaining power or even a voice within religious, political, legal, educational, and professional institutions prompted the formation of the Women's Rights Movement in 1848. Tired of being victims of separate spheres beliefs, bound to domesticity and male dependency with no rights to themselves, their property, wages, or guardianship of their children (Skinner,73); women began to seek to limit the exclusive power of men and free themselves from the constraints of the domestic sphere. What may have started the Women's Rights Movement was the fact that women wanted to have their own identity and they fought against male power and privilege that made women dependent on them.

The Declaration of Sentiments expresses women's unhappiness with the roles, unjust treatment, and inequality bestowed on them by society and men. In the Declaration of Sentiments, women denounced the government as an oppressive and tyrannical instrument of man that must be thrown off and restructure to ensure an end to the suffrage of women and give them the equal standing to which they are entitled. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who played a major role in the drafting of the Declaration stated "The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her." (Skinner, 74). She goes on to prove her statement by saying such things as "He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice. He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men-both natives and foreigners. He has denied her facilities for obtaining a thorough education, all colleges being closed against her." (Skinner, 74). The Declaration of Sentiments pointed out the many sacred rights of women that were ignored by men and it called upon "immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States." (Skinner, 75).

Men were against the Women's



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