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Seneca Falls Conference

In 1848 the first women's rights convention met in Seneca Falls, New York. The convention was planned and chaired by suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott and gave birth to the women's suffrage movement in the United States. Elizabeth Cady Stanton (with a little help from Mott and wrote most of a document called the Declaration of Emotions, which was read at the Congress and signed by 100 participants.

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The declaration of feelings, as you might have guessed from the title, is how the Declaration of Independence is worded and corresponds to what is stated in this document. The explanation of feelings begins when it becomes necessary in the course of human events ... just like the Jefferson explanation. However, this is not a collection of colonies claiming their rights from a distant monarchy. Instead, it argues that women have been controlled by men for too long - and you know Stanton took the opportunity to insert the line: We take these truths for granted; that all men and women are created equal ... The Declaration of Emotions, like the Declaration of Independence, contains a long list of grievances in which the author lists the injustices women in the United States have faced because of male control and governance.

Why do you think Elizabeth Cady Stanton chose the Declaration of Independence format? Do you think this was an effective choice?

Who is this statement of feelings written for? Does Stanton thoroughly describe the injustices women face in the United States? Towards the end of the statement, she writes: ... Given this total disenfranchisement of half of the people in this country, their social and religious degradation ... we insist that they immediately enjoy all the rights and privileges that are due to them as citizens of this United States. Who does she mean when she says half the people? What if she relates to us and she?

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