Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement

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Oxford University Press, Sep 8, 2009 - Social Science - 322 pages
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In a quiet town of Seneca Falls, New York, over the course of two days in July, 1848, a small group of women and men, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, held a convention that would launch the woman's rights movement and change the course of history. The implications of that remarkable convention would be felt around the world and indeed are still being felt today. In Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Woman's Rights Movement, the latest contribution to Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments in American History series, Sally McMillen unpacks, for the first time, the full significance of that revolutionary convention and the enormous changes it produced. The book covers 50 years of women's activism, from 1840-1890, focusing on four extraordinary figures--Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony. McMillen tells the stories of their lives, how they came to take up the cause of women's rights, the astonishing advances they made during their lifetimes, and the lasting and transformative effects of the work they did. At the convention they asserted full equality with men, argued for greater legal rights, greater professional and education opportunities, and the right to vote--ideas considered wildly radical at the time. Indeed, looking back at the convention two years later, Anthony called it "the grandest and greatest reform of all time--and destined to be thus regarded by the future historian." In this lively and warmly written study, Sally McMillen may well be the future historian Anthony was hoping to find. A vibrant portrait of a major turning point in American women's history, and in human history, this book is essential reading for anyone wishing to fully understand the origins of the woman's rights movement.
 

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Seneca Falls and the origins of the women's rights movement

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This book joins a plethora of similar titles that include Eleanor Flexner's 1959 classic Century of Struggle and notable recent works such as Judith Wellman's The Road to Seneca Falls and Lori ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Law Faith Tradition
9
2 Fashioning a Better World
35
3 Seneca Falls
71
4 The Womens Movement Begins 18501860
104
5 War Disillusionment Division
149
6 Friction and Reunification 18701890
185
Make the World Better
229
Declaration of Rights and Sentiments
237
Solitude of Self
242
Notes
251
Acknowledgments
296
Index
298
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Sally McMillen is the Mary Reynolds Babcock Professor of History and Department Chair at Davidson College. She is the author of Motherhood in the Old South and Southern Women: Black and White in the Old South. She lives in Davidson, North Carolina.

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