Women's Rights and Nothing Less: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Lisa Frederiksen Bohannon
Non Fiction Biography
Ages 10 and up
Morgan Reynolds, 2001, 1-883846-6-66-8
It is hard to believe that only eighty five years ago American women could not vote. Many American women felt that in some ways they were much like the American colonists because they were being taxed without representation - they had no voice in their own government. Getting the right to vote was an enormous landmark in the history of the women's civil rights movement.
The movement had its roots in Seneca Falls, New York. In this town a small group of women arranged for the first Women's Rights Convention to take place. One of them was Elizabeth Cady Stanton. When she was still a girl Elizabeth came to realize that being female had some serious disadvantages and as she got older and grew into womanhood this fact became more and more obvious. In the late 1800's women could not own property, most jobs were closed to them, and in the few jobs that they were allowed to do they got paid very little for their work. In cases of divorce or separation husbands automatically got custody of the children whether or not they were fit to be parents.
As far as Elizabeth, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott were concerned this was an unacceptable state of affairs and they took on the job of trying to get new laws passed that would ensure that the civil rights of women were taken into consideration. The opposition that they faced was fierce and it came from all quarters. Men felt threatened, the Church felt that their doctrine was being undermined; even many women felt that Elizabeth and her colleagues were going too far.
Despite the discord that swirled around them, the women never gave up, even when they were very discouraged by their lack of progress. Elizabeth Cady Stanton not only was a dedicated partisan for the women's rights movement. She was also an ardent abolitionist and supported the temperance movement. All this she did in addition to taking care of her household and her seven children.
This well written biography for middle readers covers not only the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton but it also tells the story of the movement that she helped create. It shows the reader how much this extraordinary woman's influence changed the lives of thousands of women all over the United States.
This is one of the books in the "Notable Women" series.
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