|Name: ___________________________ Social Reform
SENECA FALLS CONVENTION, 1848
Directions: Read the Declaration of Sentiments made the 1948 Seneca Falls Convention. Tell specifically what each grievance listed by the women at the Seneca Falls Convention refers to.
…We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... Whenever any form of government becomes destructive.., it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government... Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity [for them to] demand the equal station to which they are entitled…The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and [injustices] on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.
He has compelled her to submit to law in the formation of which she had no voice.
He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men, both natives and foreigners.
Having deprived her of this first right as a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.
He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
He has made her morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master—
He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes and, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women—
After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.
He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments,…He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.
He has denied her the [chances] for obtaining a thorough education, all colleges being closed against her.
He allows her in church, as well as state, but a [inferior] position, claiming apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the church.
He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.
He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.
Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation…, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.
Resolved, that woman is man’s equal…that she should be recognized as such…
Resolved, that it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.