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Artifact Project: The Declaration of Sentiments

Declaration of Sentiments

On July 19 and 20, 1848, a historic conference was held in Seneca Falls, New York —Seneca Falls Convention, the first convention run by females. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized this controversial but critical event that challenged the social mindsets and changed the course of history for good. Nineteenth century was when more radical reforms were about to take place. Anti-slavery movements continued to expand and there were Abolitionists, Free Soil Party and Quakers who showed their supports to progressive campaigns and participated in Seneca Falls Convention. World Anti-Slavery Convention was held in 1840 in London, where Stanton got to know Mott. During the conference all the female delegates were excluded from male delegates and asked to sit aside — this segregation outraged feminists like Stanton and Quakers like Mott. This division of gender reminded them of the racial inequality and made them feel the same away as slaves did. Meanwhile, newly constructed railroad systems and quickly developed commerce brought women to work places, where they received lower wages than men and worse treatments from employers. Awakened by these oppressions, Stanton proposed the draft of the Declaration of Sentiments, which was inspired by and based on the format of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was signed by 68 women and 32 men in the convention, including the famous Abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. It claimed that women should be also entitled as citizens of the States and granted the same rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. That moment suggested a remarkable turn in history where women started to think more about themselves instead of just about men and reflect on whether “all men” include both men and women as Abolitionists considered whether “all men” include both white and black.
While moving forward, people kept looking backward and examining the history again and again. Stanton was one of those who tried to recheck and redefine the basic cores on which this land was built: property, liberty, equality, natural rights and happiness.
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  1. Mr. Zunka Mr. Zunka

    Carrie, this is a wonderful explanation of the historical context and significance of this artifact. Nice job. You could improve the clarity of your ideas with more effective organization – e.g. use separate paragraphs to discuss the main ideas. Remember, you must include links in all of your posts! 44

    • cyang cyang

      Thank you Mr. Zunka! I think I included links in this post? I put them in the “Works Cited” part and they are showed in text format.

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