Declaration of Sentiments Assignment

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Teachers Note:

If possible, letting students have access to the computer will be optimal for this assignment since the included website has both the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Sentiments open in side-by-side windows.
The following Common Core standards are addressed in this lesson.

  • RL 9. Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work.

  • RI 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • RI 2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • RI 5. Analyze in detail how an author’s ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text.

  • RI 9. Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s ―Letter from Birmingham Jail‖), including how they address related themes and concepts.

Directions: Read the Declaration of Sentiments and Declaration of Independence at the website below ( Answer the following questions on your own and then compare your answers with your group.

  1. What are two ideas shared in the second paragraph of both the Declaration of Sentiments and the Declaration of Independence? (Restate these ideas in your own words rather than quoting the text)

  1. How does Stanton’s third paragraph differ from the same sentence (at the end of paragraph two) in the Declaration of Independence? Cite three differences.

  1. In the Declaration of Independence, who is the antagonist of the American colonists? In the Declaration of Sentiments who is the antagonist of women?

  1. Infer why Stanton chose to separate this sentence into its own paragraph when it was not separate in the original Declaration of Independence.

  1. What is one grievance stated in the Declaration of Independence that is still a grievance for women when Stanton writes the Declaration of Sentiments? Quote the similar sentences from the two documents along with your answer.

  1. What are two grievances stated in the Declaration of Sentiments that do not have a parallel in the Declaration of Independence?

  1. Paraphrase or restate in your own words what Stanton means when she writes, “He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.”


  1. Who was the intended audience for the Declaration of Sentiments?

  1. What are three specific grievances listed in the Declaration of Sentiments that you think are no longer grievances. Express these in your own words and then briefly justify with examples why they are no longer grievances.

  1. Although she cites several grievances, express in a single sentence Stanton’s main idea. In the course of writing your main idea, consider why Stanton chose to use the Declaration of Independence as a model for her document.

  1. Are the frustrations expressed in this document justified? In other words, did women have a right to be angry about their place in society during this time period? Why, or why not?

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