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Beginning of the End. Women’s Reform Movement When the United States Constitution was written, only white men had the right to vote. Women were not allowed.

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Presentation on theme: "Beginning of the End. Women’s Reform Movement When the United States Constitution was written, only white men had the right to vote. Women were not allowed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beginning of the End

2 Women’s Reform Movement

3 When the United States Constitution was written, only white men had the right to vote. Women were not allowed to vote under the law. Women also did not have many other rights such as the right to own property or to be educated for certain jobs.

4 Women in the anti-slavery abolition movement of the 1830s recognized parallels between the legal condition of slaves and that of women.

5 Seneca Falls Convention (1848) Elizabeth Cady Stanton attended the 1840 Anti- Slavery Convention and her experience led her to the struggle for women’s rights. In 1848, Quakers and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY. The Declaration of Sentiments is drafted.

6 Declaration of Sentiments, 1848 Elizabeth Cady StantonLucretia Mott Seneca Falls Convention

7 Social Snapshot Women, as members of mixed- sex societies, fought against injustices of: – The need for free public education for all children – The abuse and neglect of criminals and mental patients – Slavery – The evils of drink (for Prohibition) – Women’s legal position

8 Audience “a candid world” Other women – The Seneca Falls Convention served as a pep rally for women’s rights activists. – Encourages women not in the movement to join, or just think about their positions. Men (Politicians, husbands, fathers, brothers, bosses, clergy, etc.)

9 Main Points Women declared their independence and inalienable Rights: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “We insist that [women] have immediate admission to the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.”

10 Main Points Men have created a social and political tyranny over women by not recognizing their civil liberties. “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.”

11 “He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.” “He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.” “He has withheld from her rights which are given the most ignorant and degraded men- both natives and foreigners.” “He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.”

12 “He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.” “In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master.” …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.” 1

13 Social Impact After the convention, some parties removed their names due to societal pressures. The Convention was said to have mocked, not utilized, the Declaration of Independence. This stand put the women’s movement back a few steps. Feminism today has a negative connotation.

14 Questions to consider How could an Abolitionist consistently oppose slavery but favor the continuation of women’s inferior status? Why were so many of their contemporaries, even among the Abolitionists, deeply disturbed by the Declaration? What contemporary groups, if any, could utilize Jefferson’s language in the Declaration of Independence for their own purposes?

15 North

16 Southern Colonies Plantation systems – Tobacco, cotton, indigo Dark blue dye Heavy slave economy

17 Middle Colonies Most slaves worked in trade in manufacturing – Construction – Mason – Shipwright – Goldsmith – Glass workers Moderate slave economy, but much less than southern colonies

18 New England Slavery less common – New England temperature/short farming period not financial conducive to slavery – Slavery therefore less common – Building houses – Working as house servants Many more free blacks

19 Slave Rebellion Gabriel’s Conspiracy – August 30, 1800 Plans to attack Richmond. Two slaves revealed plans to white authorities Gabriel arrested and hanged Louisiana Rebellion – Deslondes, Haitian native initiated revolt Organized 180 men and women Over run by troops, 60 killed instantly, the rest executed

20 Slavery and the West Small communities cropped up in the West 1860 – 4000 blacks in CA made up 75% of all the nominally free African-Americans in the West Discriminatory black laws kept free black westerners at a minimum Still some families made the trip west to try for better economic chances

21 Missouri Compromise Issue about slave states emerging west of the Mississippi Northerners didn’t want new slave states Southerners didn’t feel the North had the right to infringe Agreement made: For every slave state admitted, a free state had to be approved as well. Banned slavery north of the 36’ 30” latitude line.


23 Wilmot Proviso 1846 David Wilmot – PA congressman introduced a measure to prohibit slavery in any lands acquired from Mexico – “The Negro race already occupy enough of this fair continent…” – Never passed


25 Compromise of 1850 Gold discovered in 1848 California quickly expanded Applied for statehood as a free state Missouri Compromise would cause a problem Compromise of 1850 – Allows California to be admitted as a free state and eliminating the slave trade in the District of Columbia – Stronger fugitive slave law for the south

26 Popular Sovereignty Issue of popular sovereignty – Residents of a territory get to decide for themselves whether to allow Slavery. States tired of government making decisions about their state status without benefit of the people’s vote

27 Fugitive Slave Act 1793 – Permitted slave owners to recover slaves who escaped to other states – 1830-40 1793 law became too weak 1850 Fugitive Slave Law – US Marshals, deputies and even ordinary citizens had to help seize suspected runaways – Those who refused could be fined or imprisoned

28 Kansas-Nebraska Act 1854  By the 1850s the area above Texas was ready to be recognized as a territory in preparation to becoming a state.  It was North of the 36x30 line. The Compromise of 1850 had stated that these territories could decide for themselves if they were going to be free or slave.  In 1854 Congress passed a bill creating 2 territories=Kansas and Nebraska. It was hoped by many that one would be free and one would be slave. However, the decision was left up to the people in those territories=Popular Sovereignty.  People from surrounding states flooded into these territories to swing the vote the way they wanted it to go. Many people were killed over the issue.


30 On the section KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT write: 1.Nebraska was divided in half so there are 2 territories. 2.Kansas and Nebraska. 3.Slavery in each territory would be decided by the voters=Popular Sovereignty. 4.Results: 1.Bleeding Kansas-lots of violence 2.The Democratic Party lost support in the North but gained it in the South. Democrats were pro-slavery. 3.The Republican Party is created and it gained power among those against slavery.

31 Dred Scott Decision 1857  Dred Scott was an African American slave who belonged to an Army officer.  He traveled with his owner and lived in 2 free states for several years.  At one point he even traveled alone through free territories to join his master in the South.  He never sued for his freedom while his master was alive. However, shortly after the Army officer died, his widow hired Scott out to someone else. At this point, Scott tried to buy his freedom. He was denied.

32  Abolitionist lawyers took his case and helped him sue for his freedom on the grounds that he had lived in 2 free states and should have been given his freedom.  His case was in the courts for 10 years. Some found in his favor, others found against him.  He decided to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1856.  Of the 9 Supreme Court justices 7 had been appointed by pro-slavery, Southern presidents and 5 were from slave holding families.

33  The Supreme Court ruled that because Scott was black he was not a citizen of the United States and therefore he had no right to sue.  The justices also declared that the Missouri Compromise and its attempt to restrict slavery in territories North of the 36x30 line was unconstitutional.  Northerners were furious and this decision had a huge impact on the 1860 election of the Republican nominee=Abraham Lincoln.  The sons of the man who had owned Dred Scott had paid his legal fees for years trying to help him win his freedom. After the Supreme Court decision, they bought Scott and his wife from the widow and set him free. Scott died 9 months later a free man.


35 On the section DRED SCOTT DECISION write: 1.The Supreme Court of 1857 ruled that people of African ancestry were not citizens and could not sue in Federal Court for freedom or anything else. 2.They also ruled that the Missouri Compromise was not legal. They stated the government can not tell states they have to be slave or free. 3.Results: 1.Angry anti-slavery voters voted for Abraham Lincoln for president in 1860.

36 Write in the section Presidential Election of 1860  1860-Republican Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency.  Republicans promised to:  End the spread of slavery  Impose tariffs to protect US businesses  Give free land in the West to settlers

37  In the South:  There were no votes for Lincoln-they feared he would end slavery  Southern states started seceding-leaving the United States  In Texas, Sam Houston and other Unionists urged Texans not to secede Unionist=Southerner who wanted to stay with the Union  February 23, 1861-Texas secedes from the Union. They join other states to form the Confederate States of America=Confederacy  Sam Houston is removed from the office of governor after he refuses to take the Oath of the Confederacy=promise to support and defend the Confederacy


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