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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world Indeed its the only thing that ever has That was Margaret Meads conclusion after a lifetime of observing very diverse cultures around the world Her insight has been borne out time and again throughout the development of this country of ours Being allowed to live life in an atmosphere of religious freedom having a voice in the government you support with your taxes living free of lifelong enslavement by another person Many once considered these beliefs about how life should and must be lived outlandish But visionaries whose steadfast work brought about changed minds and attitudes fervently held these beliefs Now these beliefs are commonly shared across US society The staggering changes for women that have come about over those seven generations in family life in religion in government in employment in education - these changes did not just happen spontaneously Women themselves made these changes happen very deliberately Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature Seven generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways through meetings petition drives lobbying public speaking and nonviolent resistance Like many amazing stories the history of the Womens Rights Movement began with a small group of people questioning why human lives were being unfairly constricted The Womens Rights Movement marks July 13 1848 as its beginning On that sweltering summer day in upstate New York a young housewife and mother Elizabeth Cady Stanton was invited to tea with four women friends When the course of their conversation turned to the situation of women Stanton poured out her discontent with the limitations placed on her own situation under Americas new democracy Surely the new republic would benefit from having its women play more active roles throughout society Stantons friends agreed with her passionately These were patriotic women sharing the
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