The Declaration of Sentiments

(United Reader) – The United States hasn’t always been so kind to all of its people. Elizabeth Cady Stanton recognized that women were treated unfairly, and she drafted the Declaration of Sentiments to enact change in our country. After all, we are all meant to be equal, no matter what. Let’s take a look at her dedication and work.

Vaguely Familiar

When reading the document Stanton created, you’ll see that it was based off of none other than the Declaration of Independence. The changes she made were extremely minimal. Two simple words were added to “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

Those two words would be “and women” between “all men” and “are created equal.” The result stated that men and women were created equal before God and should be treated as equals both before the law and God. Before women had rights, they were treated as more objects than people. They often received fewer rights than even foreigners. The Declaration of Sentiments was a way to highlight these atrocities and correct them. The document was also the first time anyone petitioned for the women’s right to vote.

Leading Change

Before women were granted the same rights as men, they were subjected to laws of which they had no say in. Married women were worse off than single women as they lost their individual liberty and became their husbands’ property. Churches and government settings only allowed women to hold subordinate positions. Education was withheld from women, and colleges would not accept them.

However, the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments looked to change this with its powerful message. The document concluded with a short message stating that for those who favor women’s rights won’t not stop until men and women are seen as equals before the law.

The convention at Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848, which Elizabeth drafted the Declaration of Sentiments for, would eventually go on to pass the 12 resolutions of women’s rights. However, the right to vote was still not granted to women for another 72 years, when the 19th Amendment was ratified by Congress.

The United States is far from perfect, but it has certainly bettered itself throughout history. Now, women have the right to vote and can hold public office, doing any job that a man can do. We have those who fought for these rights, such as Elizabeth Stanton, to thank for their dedication and hard work. In the US, much controversy still surrounds several aspects of equality between men and women. However, while the dark days may not be quite over yet, we’re on a path to a bright future.

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