Elizabeth Cady Stanton

by Newsha from San Diego

"The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls" (qtd. in Elizabeth Cady Stanton). In the 1800's women did not have the same laws as men and they were too hesitant to fight for their rights, but Elizabeth Cady Stanton would not quit until she found justice. Many people do not recognize Elizabeth for the great change she made in history, but women would not have the laws they have today if it wasn't for her bravery. Her father was a lawyer, and when she heard how women have no legal rights, she found interest in the topic of women's laws. Elizabeth was very bright and had a successful life.  Around her time period, women had poor education but Stanton received impressive education at Emma Willard's Troy Female Seminary, studying law. Later she moved to Seneca Falls where the women's rights movement began. Through her accomplishments, she inspired many people. Elizabeth Cady Stanton changed the laws that women had in America because she possessed selflessness, courage, and determination that made her worthy of the title hero.

Stanton characterized selflessness because of her perseverance to change the rights of women in the world. Elizabeth and many others believed men and women were equal, therefore they deserve the same rights: "She put forth the idea that men and women were equal and listed eighteen ways in which men did not treat women as their equals. Stanton also developed eleven resolutions, one of which stated that women had the duty to secure the right to vote" (UXL). She composed many writings that showed how women were not treated equally, including women's right to vote. When Elizabeth was little she discovered great awareness of how badly women were treated: "As a girl she was moved by the grief of her father's female clients who learned that they had no legal identity as wives, that they were not the owners of their own property and wages, and that their children could be taken from them if they separated from their abusive or drunkard husbands. Such scenes convinced her early that women were at a serious disadvantage in society" (American). Elizabeth cared strongly about women and their rights, particularly after noticing the limitations placed upon them. Once she saw they had no legal identity, she wanted to modify that, and more. That was what propelled her to commence the women's rights movement. She was selfless because she worked for the rights of more than just herself-she worked for other people.

Elizabeth was very courageous because she demanded the right for women's suffrage be changed in her declaration of principles. The declaration of principles changed the laws of women forever: "She wrote a Declaration of Sentiments and resolutions, arguing that consistency with the fundamental principles of the American Revolution required an end to women's taxation without representation and government without their consent" (Gordon). Stanton made a declaration of principles that showed how women got discriminated at the time. The declaration of principles made a big difference to the laws of women, without these laws women would have no legal identity. Stanton would not let anything get in the way of the rights getting approved: "Despite opposition, she persuaded the convention to approve a resolution calling for women's suffrage" (Elizabeth). After the American Women Suffrage Association decided to let go of the problem, Stanton convinced the convention to consider women suffrage. Elizabeth's opinions in her declaration of principles showed her courage and valor in a time when women who fought for their own rights were opposed. It displayed how she wouldn't let anything stand in her way as she fought for these rights.

In all her work, Stanton was determined to get things done because she fought for the rights and was very strong-willed. Stanton would not withdraw until women acquired freedom: "When the American Woman Suffrage Association voted to back away from the issue and not fight for women to be included, Stanton retorted that she would 'cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work for or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.' Anthony joined Stanton in creating a new organization in 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association, to push for a constitutional amendment granting women the vote" (American). She would not let the American Women Suffrage Association to pull back from the rights getting approved. She demanded it to be approved and did not back down. Stanton fought for whatever she believed in and wanted. To succeed in these laws, determination was key. The campaign for the amendment of the freedom to vote was difficult to get approved: "While studying law in the office of her father, Daniel Cady, a U.S. congressman and later a New York Supreme Court judge, she learned of the discriminatory laws under which women lived and determined to win equal rights for her sex" (Banner). After Stanton saw the laws women weren't privy to, she made it her goal to get them the equal rights they deserved, and she carried it through. Stanton achieved a lot mainly because she never quit and always found a way for women to obtain these rights.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a huge inspiration and hero to others. She changed the rights women had and made a huge difference. Without her women would have no freedom or legal identity. She was courageous despite what anyone told her. She believed someday women would have the rights they deserve and she caused that goal to happen. Stanton was selfless and cared so much to change these laws all so women could be equal. "The position of women in American society has changed considerably since the mid-nineteenth century, and Stanton was one of the central figures helping to bring about that change...Although she held important offices in women's organizations, Stanton was equally important as a publicist whose writings articulated the reasons that feminists wished to alter relationships between the sexes" (Smith). Stanton determined to never give up on something and she never let anything get in the way. Many people may not know Elizabeth but without her accomplishments women would not have the freedom they have today. People are doubtful of speaking their opinions but, as Elizabeth Cady Stanton proved, some opinions can change the world.

 Works Cited

"Elizabeth Cady Stanton." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.

Gordon, Ann D. "American National Biography Online: Stanton, Elizabeth Cady." American National Biography Online: Stanton, Elizabeth Cady. N.p., Feb. 2000. Web. 06 Dec. 2013. <>

Smith Harold L. "Elizabeth Cady Stanton." Great Lives From History: The Nineteenth Century (2007): 1.Biography Reference Center. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

"Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (1815-1902)." American Eras. Vol. 5: The Reform Era and Eastern U. S. Development, 1815-1850. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 282-283. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.

"Stanton, Elizabeth Cady." UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 7. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 1474-1476. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.

Banner, Lois W. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2013. .

Page created on 1/9/2014 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/9/2014 12:00:00 AM

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