America's foundation has been built on the American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Women in the mid-1800's were no exception to this dream and found a field of activity in social reform movements (Faragher 393). Women such as Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone were both working towards the common goal of social change for women. Political, legal and social equality were subjects in women's rights conventions such as the first held at Seneca Falls in 1848 (Faragher 394).
The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 was not the beginning of the women's rights movement. Moral reform groups had already begun gaining ranks and the convention only lit the fire among women who were determined not to be second-class citizens. The Declaration of Sentiments was drawn up at the convention and signed by the men and women attending the two day convention. The Declaration, modeled after the Declaration of Independence, was the first controversial step women took to announce women's right to vote.
Women's rights leaders, including Susan B. Anthony, believed suffrage was the most efficient way to begin reconstructing America's social structure (www.u-s-history.com).
The National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and the American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe, held campaigns supporting women's suffrage. The NWSA's approach was considered radical because their platform favored a constitutional amendment to achieve the women's vote (www.nmwh.org). On the other hand, the AWSA's approach was more moderate as they supported voting laws at the state level (www.nmwh.org). Nevertheless, both groups organized and rallied support from women and men alike for their cause through speeches, pamphlets and presentations.
The National Woman Suffrage Association lobbied for easier divorce procedures and an end to discrimination in pay and employment (www.u-s-history.com). Susan...