Law & Legal & Attorney Politics

Women's Rights Movement in the United States

    Afternoon Tea

    • The beginning of the women's rights movement in the United States is often marked as July 13, 1848. On that day, a group of women came to the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton for afternoon tea. From their conversations that afternoon, a declaration was made and events leading to the first women's rights convention were set in motion.


    • Using the Declaration of Independence as her framework, Stanton began writing the "Declaration of Sentiments," which outlined areas of unjust treatment of women. Among the grievances noted were that married women were legally dead, husbands could beat and imprison their wives without punishment and women were not allowed to vote.

    Seneca Falls

    • One result of the afternoon tea was the Seneca Falls Convention, which was held July 19-20, 1848. During the convention Stanton presented the Declaration of Sentiments. The first convention led to several other conventions at locations around the country in the years leading up to the Civil War.

    19th Amendment

    • Eventually, the work that began at the afternoon tea would lead to women being granted the right to vote. The 19th Amendment was passed by Congress in 1919 and was ratified in 1920.


    • What is often referred to as the "second wave" of the women's rights movement began in the 1960s. This movement addressed discrimination against women, family planning and equality in the work place.

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