The Early Work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B
The Civil War brought an end to slavery and one of the darkest chapters in America’s history. However, it was also during that era that women were also being treated as second class citizens. Women were not allowed to vote, they did not get equal pay as men for the same jobs, they did not have the right to vote and in general did not have the rights that should have been there’s. After the Civil War, two women, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony helped lead the women’s suffrage movement, which eventually led to the 19th Amendment passage in 1920, which gave women the same rights as men.
Stanton was born in 1815 in Johnstown, New York and as a member of an upper class household had the advantage of a first class education. Upon graduating from high school, she experienced her first taste of gender discrimination, when even though she had superior grades to several male classmates, she could not attend college, while they were admitted. Stanton ended up attending an all women’s college in Troy, New York.
Anthony was born in 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts and due to financial difficulties with the family, had to move several times. She attended many different schools and enjoyed education. Upon finishing school she began teaching and eventually became a headmistress of a school. During her years in education, she also experienced gender discrimination by first not being taught the same things that the boys learned and later not earning an equal pay for an equal job. Because of these experiences, Stanton and Anthony began the fight for equal rights.
In 1851 in Seneca Falls, New York, Stanton and Anthony were introduced for the first time. They immediately struck up a friendship based on similar backgrounds and experiences, and together formed the first women’s temperance society in the country. From that moment on the women remained friends and worked tirelessly by speaking out and writing articles on how the government should give equal treatment to men and women.
The women continued to work together on this common cause and in 1869 founded the National Women’s Suffrage Foundation. Now that the women started to organize on a national level, they started to pressure the government to enact laws giving equal rights to all people. One by one individual states started to give rights to women, until in 1920, the federal government gave all equal rights to men and women.
Unfortunately, Stanton died in 1902 and Anthony died in 1906, and did not see the fruits of their efforts. However, without the leadership and spirit of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, the women’s suffrage movement in the United States would never have materialized. All of the current equality between men and women is a direct cause of the work of Stanton and Anthony. These two women will be remembered as ground breaking pioneers of the women’s movement forever.