HS Unit II: Women's Struggle for Equal Rights, 1825 - 1930
John Adams and the other founders did not “remember the ladies” when they wrote the Constitution. Sixty years after independence, free women in the U.S. enjoyed few civil rights and enslaved women had none. Beginning in the 1840s, a small number of women and an even smaller number of men began to advocate, organize, and agitate to expand the educational, occupational, and political opportunities available to women.
What fueled the struggle for woman’s rights in the U.S. from 1840 to 1950?
Note: Before students begin the lessons in this unit, they should be familiar with the basic history of the nineteenth-century woman’s rights movement. A brief overview is on the National Women’s History Project website.
US1.33: Analyze the goals and effect of the antebellum women’s suffrage movement.
USII.9: Analyze the post-Civil War struggles of African Americans and women to gain basic civil rights.
Lesson A: Advocates for Higher Education
Advocates for women's higher education used different strategies to increase opportunities for young women.
In Lucy Stone's words, it took years of "toil and fatigue and patience and strife" to increase educational and political opportunities open to women in the U.S.
Women waged personal struggles to gain access to opportunities previously open only to men.