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Womans Suffrage - Essay Example

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The American feminist movement, if reduced to the bare essentials was comprised of two major branches, one specifically geared to upgrade the woman’s domestic role, the other no less daunting was to guarantee the woman’s role and voice in the public sphere…
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Womans Suffrage
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Download file to see previous pages In America both groups originated in the ideals of American democracy and Protestant individualism. But these ideals when applied to women were everywhere met with contradictory economic and social institutions which subjected women to traditional male authority or questioned their capacity for independence and initiative. “With the flood of post-civil war suffragist rhetoric came an equally full and passionate cry from the anti-suffragists, or antis as the suffragists called them. Threatened by the suffragists new conception of modern government”(Oates 1991) Religion profoundly helped to legitimize woman’s quest for equality. Of the five women who planned the Seneca Falls convention in the summer of 1848, four were Quakers. Historian Margaret Bacon has asked why the tiny Religious Society of Friends contributed such a disproportionate number of leaders to the feminist cause. It turns out that Quakerism was a veritable seedbed for the new feminism. As early as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Quaker women had served as traveling ministers, on occasion leaving behind husbands and children, so strongly did they feel called to the Lord’s work. Well before the Revolution the American Friends had also established a tradition of separate women’s business meetings of the monthly meeting. In addition, Quaker women who felt moved by the Holy Spirit to speak in meetings were expected to do so. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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