Antislavery Connection - Women's Rights National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)
The history of feminism in the United States is very directly linked to the abolitionist class to the upper middle class saw a correlation between the oppression of The intersection of abolitionism and women's rights influenced the ideas and. The American Woman's Rights movement grew out of abolitionism in direct but much about women and slaves, its relation to the premises and project of the. Elizabeth Cady Staton and Lucretia Mott, the co-founders of the women's rights movement were also ardent supporters of the abolitionist movement.
Arguments for women's rights came from experiences in the anti-slavery movement. During a petition drive in Massachusetts inmale listeners thronged to female-only lectures. Rebuked by Congregational ministers and others for speaking to promiscuous audiences, they held their ground. They learned to write persuasively, raise funds, organize supporters and events, and speak to large groups of men and women about important political and social issues.
In the service of anti-slavery, women found their voices. Between andwomen's rights advocates held state and national conventions and campaigned for legal changes. Free Soilers sought to limit slavery by denying it to new territories entering the union. Some male village residents attended both conventions. Chamberlain and Saron Phillips, who signed the Declaration of Sentiments, were chosen as delegates to the Free Soil Party's national convention.
The passage of the Fugitive Slave Law authorized federal marshals to seize and return fugitive slaves. Northern free blacks had little protection against false claims by southern slaveholders. While many free blacks fled to Canada, previously neutral northerners were enraged at the injustice.
Slavery and anti-slavery supporters rushed into Kansas to claim it for their side. Inafter anti-slavery settlers died during an attack in Lawrence, Kansas, John Brown led a raid against pro-slavery homes along Pottawatomie Creek, killing five men in retaliation.
With a warrant out for his arrest, John Brown returned east to plan a daring raid. He hoped to create a large slave insurrection in Virginia. Brown sought support among prominent abolitionists like Frederick Douglass.
Women's Rights & Anti-Slavery
Elizabeth Cady Stanton 's cousin, Gerrit Smith, provided financial support. A decade earlier, he had sold Brown a parcel of land in a settlement for free blacks in the Adirondacks. Now, Brown asked Smith to help finance his scheme. Smith agreed, becoming one of the "Secret Six" financiers of John Brown's raid. On October 16,John Brown and twenty-one followers launched an attack on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. When the anticipated slave revolt failed to materialize, the raid ended in dismal failure.
- Antislavery Connection
- Abolitionism - Abolitionism And Feminism
- The Connection Between Women’s Rights and Abolition
Brown and his men were tried, convicted, and hanged. A letter in Brown's possession incriminated Smith, who went insane as a result of the publicity and threat of prosecution. A martyr in the eyes of non-violent abolitionists, Brown became a symbol of escalating violence in pursuit of emancipation.
Women’s Rights, Abolitionism, and Reform in Antebellum and Gilded Age America
AnthonyMany nonviolent reformers, concluding that slavery could only be purged by war, welcomed the outbreak of the Civil War in April, Even Quaker pacifists reluctantly supported the war if it would bring an end to slavery.
David Wright 's support of the war brought no criticism from sister-in-law Lucretia Mottconsidering, "how glass our house is. Anthonygatheredsignatures on a petition for an immediate end to slavery.
Having neither access to the vote nor military service, women used the petition to support the 13th Amendment. The Civil War ended infollowed by passage of the 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery. Inthe 15th Amendment gave African-American men the right to vote. Stanton and others fought, and lost, the battle to include women in expanded suffrage. In victory over slavery, decades-long alliances were broken.
The women's rights movement split and old friends in the abolition and women's rights movements parted company. Just as anti-slavery forces had divided, so too did organizations struggling for women's suffrage. They gained widespread public recognition through a sympathetic abolitionist press and by exploiting the curiosity of mainstream newspapers until, by the end of the s, public awareness and sympathy had increased. Or so the story goes.
Was Seneca Falls, and the leadership asserted there, really so important? The origins story was crafted, after all, by Stanton and Anthony themselves. In their massive History of Woman Suffrage HWSwhich they wrote in the s, at a time when the vote remained out of reach and their movement seemed stalled, they created a narrative and rich archive of historical documents that also was a bid to establish the history of their leadership in a movement that was diffuse and not always cohesive.
They also wanted to press further on issues of marriage and sexual autonomy. One line of scholarship explains their behavior as a retreat from previous commitments to racial justice and, focusing mostly on the political context, interprets their turn to racism as more opportunistic than essential.
But academic biographers have avoided Susan B. Anthony and have failed to go beyond an abbreviated though excellent look at Elizabeth Cady Stanton, despite the fact that biographical research on this crucial pair is now facilitated by the microfilm of the Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B.
Anthony and six volumes of their Selected Papers edited by Ann D. Perhaps a focus on leaders may seem dated, but greater understanding of key historical figures is not advanced by neglect; nor can such figures be convincingly diminished or discredited without thorough study. After attending a lecture by Susan B.
But these first successes did not generate the snowball effect that activists had hoped for. The fact of woman suffrage, which was supposed to demonstrate its own merits, proved embarrassing because Utah women had been enfranchised by the Mormon elders, and they proceeded to vote as other Mormons did, in favor of polygamy. Later on, the first states that voted for woman suffrage were also in the West; Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho all enfranchised women before the turn of the century.
Each case reflected local circumstances and threw little or no weight into the balance for woman suffrage nationally. In the same interval, activists learned that fighting through a state referendum campaign was an exhausting marathon that would have to be repeated over and over and over again. Aftertwo rival suffrage organizations, struggling for want of resources, were reduced to special fundraising for referenda or to publish a newspaper.The Abolitionist Movement
Individual activists found that lyceum lecturing might generate an income, but it demanded long weeks on the road and tended to encourage messages tailored to appeal to popular audiences.
Meanwhile, backlash prevailed in the realms of culture and sexual expression, due in part to the Comstock laws, which outlawed all sorts of sexually oriented information and materials, including contraceptives. Woodhull was a suffragist who worked with Stanton and Anthony but also a free lover, while Beecher was the first president of the American Woman Suffrage Association. In quick succession, movement activists were faced with a number of events that demanded their immediate reaction: They had to ask themselves: What was politically possible, effective, or wise?
Stanton and Anthony were denied the resources to take advantage of their best chance, in Kansas, and the effects of that failure were magnified when they turned to a racist funding source thereafter.
Bya deep and bitter rift had developed. Neither organization developed a winning strategy or compiled an admirable record. Entering into a phase of regrets and cover-ups, and interested only in a history that would be useful to them, Stanton and Anthony left modern historians with much work to do on this period.
It had seemed so promising. The 14th Amendment defined women as citizens and guaranteed citizens equal protection, while the 15th Amendment said that the right to vote of American citizens could not be abridged on account of race.
Activists pressed for a declaratory act in Congress, and significant numbers of women voted illegally into seize rights or to mount test cases. Anthony was tried and convicted of illegal voting in Rochester. But in the test cases that reached the Supreme Court, Bradwell v. Illinois and Minor v. Happersett, the Court moved to a strained reading of the 14th and 15th Amendments, saying they guaranteed no rights other than those of national citizenship and did not make suffrage a right of citizenship—the same logic it used to undercut black rights in the Slaughterhouse cases and U.
Its leader, Frances Willard, was an organizational genius, but its success also reflected the way more modest, ladylike activity could come to the fore at a time when radicalism and suffragism had lost momentum. Because women have so little in common besides their oppression as women, the participants in this struggle inevitably fell into separate groups with different interests, the more so as barriers were breached.
Their history is intrinsically long and slow and uneven, because the changes afoot had to be inscribed in law, but they also had to take place inside individuals and families, and in the spaces between, where education and work and social customs were being reshaped. Although scholarship has often focused on a small band of the usual white, middle class suspects, taking into account the extraordinary diversity of women need not throw this history into disarray.
The participants themselves began to talk about writing their own history as early as the s, and in the s Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B.
In memoirs and authorized biographies, the aging leaders continued to try to shape their own story, and thereafter partisans and journalists kept the subject alive.
At the same time, some historians began to argue that the proper subject of historical study was not women but gender, and [to put] an emphasis on discourse and representation rather than experience and behavior. Some may continue to elaborate skeptical analyses of the traditional narrative and its famous leaders, which certainly needs more study.
Still others will bring together antebellum and postbellum sources to move beyond conventional but unhelpful chronological boundaries, or will expand the terms of historical inquiry so as to include black and white activists in the same frame.
Historians who look to expand the lens and study a range of activists, fellow travelers, and quasi-feminists will probably find that well-chosen local studies offer the best opportunities, as they do generally for efforts to examine the interactions of race, class, and gender. A perspective that brings together these concerns by studying the history of citizenship is most promising. Anthony, which include a full run of the Revolution, the weekly paper published by Stanton and Anthony in the late s, are indispensable.
Nor should researchers neglect Ann D.