What were the grievances of the Declaration of Sentiments at the Senca Falls Convention?

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

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Many of the grievances in Stanton's document sought to address or redress the condition of women on economic, social, and political grounds.  For example, one of the opening grievances sought to change the relationship that existed between men and women, one that was predicated upon "tyranny."  The "elective franchise" was also one of the grievances, helping to bring to light that the right to vote was something denied to women in America, the young nation dedicated to democratic self- rule.  Radical for its time, the document addressed the disparity in "wage" between men and women, something that is still present today.  At the same time, the document wanted to change the position of women in clerical institutions, where "He [patriarchal authority] allows her in church, as well as state, but a subordinate position, claiming apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the church."  The document closes with a call for equality whereby "women is man's equal."

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Seneca Falls Declaration includes a long list of grievances.  It was modeled after the US Declaration of Independence, which does the same thing.  You may follow the Fordham link to find the full text of the Seneca Falls Declaration.

The general gist of the Declaration was that men did not allow women basic rights.  For example, they did not allow women the right to vote.  In addition to that, men forced women to obey laws that they could not have a voice in making.

On a more social level, the Declaration rails against things like the institution of marriage.  It says that marriage, as practiced in those days, made a woman legally dead.  It took her property away and gave it to her husband.  It made her promise to obey him.

In other words, the Declaration argued that women were denied both political and social equality.

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