High School Unit II

Activity 3: Fifty Years’ Worth of Gains

After reading the excerpts from Lucy Stone’s last speech given in 1893, discuss as a class:

  1. Do you agree with Lucy Stone that once women gained the right to an education and to free speech, “every other good thing was sure to be obtained”? Support your position.
  2. Can Lucy Stone’s argument be applied to other movements for social justice? What rights are critical to ensuring “every other good thing”? Why?

Stone lists many improvements that had taken place in women's lives over the course of 50 years. Based on what students have read so far, ask them to explain how women achieved these gains.

  1. Who were the activists and what strategies did they use?
  2. Which strategies were most successful?
  3. Why did some strategies fail and others succeed?

Through additional research:

  1. Explore and describe the many connections among women reformers and the movements in which they were involved.
  2. Compare and contrast the work of women in nineteenth century Massachusetts to that of women reformers in other regions of the U.S. or in other historical periods.