The women’s suffrage movement was from 1848 to 1920 when women fought and spoke out for equality and political rights. Women had no power to own land, to vote, no voice in their marriages, and were limited on what they could do. This caused women to unite and fight for their freedom such as creating women’s groups, take part in the anti-slavery and temperance movements, and give speeches for over seventy years until the nineteenth amendment passed and were legally allowed to vote.
It all started when 100 men and women decided to gather at Seneca Falls, New York, for a women’s rights convention to confront the problem of women’s suffrage.(Jeydel 41) At this convention, women began to create their roles such as, “setting up charitable societies speaking out against intemperance and slavery, organizing against their employers, and demanding expanded property rights, education, and employment opportunities for women.” (Cogan & Ginzberg 427) People didn’t think that what the women would do would ever bring change, and saw it as impossible. There was a demand for a social, political, educational, economical, moral, and legal voice and seat for all women. (Jenkins 133) Women believed for equality and for the same power that men had, as well as the same opportunities, jobs, and titles.
Women’s groups began forming, as leaders would rise, take charge and guide them. One of the leaders was a woman known by Susan B. Anthony, who was an activist that participated in the anti-slavery movement and the temperance movements. (Jeydel 40) She had given a speech at one of the Daughters of Temperance meetings, which was where people would be educated about the prob
lems of alcohol, and pushed for the New York legislature to forbid production and sales. (Jeydel 40) Elizabeth Stanton was another woman who was a leader in the suffrage movement. Elizabeth and another woman named Lucretia Mott had planned the women’s rights meeting at Seneca Falls. (Jeydel 41)Anthony and Stanton one day met at a anti-slavery meeting at the Seneca Falls and become close friends who became about of the Daughters of the Temperance group. When the two friends found out about the Sons of Temperance group, they decided to attend the meetings, only to be silenced and told that they were to “listen and learn” and weren’t allowed to speak there. (Jeydel 41) They had later created the Women’s National Loyal League that “was composed of loyal women of the North whose stated aim was to ‘educate the nation into the true idea of a Christian Republic.”(Jeydel 41) Because of this women’s group, it supported for the petition for the emancipation of slaves. These two women both saw an issue that needed to be changed, so they came together and created groups that would encourage other women to join the movement and push to end slavery.
Another women who was considered a great leader during this time was Elizabeth Boynton Harbert, who was an important women’s suffrage leader in Illinois. She was one of the most known Illinois leaders to encourage women in the middle-class to reform work. (Buechler 79) Harbert began to write and publish a weekly new articles and known as “Woman’s Kingdom” and kept up with it for up to seven years. She had written a play later that was about “conventional patterns of child rearing artificially restricted women to the narrow realm called “woman’s sphere,” and the contributions women might have made to society had they not been restricted.” (Buechler 81) She wanted people to see how women were limited on what they could do, and how if they were permitted to do as they want, how they could have helped in society in greater ways. Harbert had encourage women to push for the equality for work and family for both genders. Women had wanted people to think that by giving them rights, it wouldn’t change women’s expectations in society. (Buechler 82) Harbert believed that women had a mission to fulfill on the earth. “The mission of woman on earth? To uplift, purify, and confirm, by her own gracious gift, the world.” (Buechler 82) She wanted women to feel that the world needed them and that they were more important than they thought they were.