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I chose to do my document interpretation on Elizabeth Cady Stantons

Declaration of Sentiments, which was read at the first womens rights convention in the
country at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. It was held by both Elizabeth Cady Stanton
and Lucretia Mott who were both active in the movement to abolish slavery which paved
the way for womens rights and issues to be addressed. One of the main reasons Mott and
Stanton held the conference and wrote the Declaration of Sentiments, was because Mott
was set to speak at the world anti-slavery convention in London as an official delegate,
but because of her gender she wasnt allowed to enter the convention floor. So the two
convened and organized the Seneca Falls convention, which was set to take place over
the course of two days at the Wesleyan Chapel the first day was exclusively for women
and the second day men were invited.
At the convention Stanton read the Declaration of Sentiments, and around two
hundred women attended the first day. The Declaration was most notably paralleled after
the Declaration of Independence with Stanton proclaiming, that all men and women are
created equal . . . with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness. Modeling the Declaration of Sentiments after such a significant
document symbolizes the importance that men and women should have equal rights, and
by including such a central document it was more likely for the movement to gain
momentum. Stanton mentioned many issues faced by women during that period
including; the lack of a legal voice, no right to property or wages, no right to vote in
political matters, custody of children could be easily taken away through a divorce or
separation, and no access to a college education. Women had no control or say in any
matters involving them everything was in the hands of their husbands. The Declaration is

demanding that women be granted the same rights and privileges as men, which are
rightfully belonged to them as citizens of the United States.
Sixty-eight women and thirty-two men signed the Declaration one of them even
being the prominent abolitionist Frederick Douglass. With the right to vote being one of
the many resolutions passed by the convention it caused some endorsers to withdraw
their support. People rejected and actively fought this Declaration because it stood to
change the societal norms and beliefs about womens expected roles in the world,
especially when suggesting women have the right to vote. During this time period women
were looked at as a mans property and thought of as less than a man, so fighting for equal
rights was a complete revolution. The womens suffrage movement began to take place
but women didnt gain the constitutional right to vote until 1920.The document is a
valuable representation of history for the womens rights movement and a primary source
of Elizabeth Cady Stantons public declaration demanding deserved equal rights for
women.