What similarities do these two documents have?"Letter to John Adams" by Abigail Adams and "Declaration of Sentiments of the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention" by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If one were drawing a historical continuum that linked events, there could be an argument that one helps to lay the groundwork for the other.  Examine this line from one of Adams' letters regarding the need to acknowledge women's voices in the political and social discourse:

"...remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation."

This helps to bring out the idea that, at some level, the denial of voice will bring about some level of profound change that could "foment a Rebellion."  Some might see the Seneca Falls Convention as precisely this reality.  Stanton writes her Declaration as a form of rebellion, demanding change to what she sees as the patriarchal system representing a form of tyranny, men acting as "tyrants."  The rewriting of Jefferson's document to speak for the voices of women is a deliberate attempt to bring about voice and representation.  Adams' sentiments in her letters were recognized about 80 years later.

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