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The womens suffrage movement began in Seneca Falls New York during a convention on the rights of women Seneca Falls was a progressive town but even here Elizabeth Cady Stantons call for suffrage was controversial Voting and politics were seen as completely male domains and it was shocking to think of women involved in either The primary argument of suffragists was that they were being denied one of the most basic rights of Democracy They were expected to live under laws which they could not vote for and pay taxes to a government which didnt represent them Men were only half of the population but they were in charge of all of the decisions Not only was it unfair it went against the way God intended things to be Women and men were different To create a balanced society they must both be allowed to have influence In 1848 women were treated as the property of men They didnt have rights to property or to their children It was legal for a man to beat his wife They were taxed but denied representation in congress Their sphere of influence was in the home The Seneca Falls Declaration called for an increase in womens rights in these areas as well as in education for women and the jobs available to them It stated that women were morally obligated to resist their tyrannical and oppressive government This unfair treatment wasnt only unjust it went against God The Declaration was not well received by much of the public but it set off a wave of womens rights meetings throughout the 1850s It was after one of these meetings that Stanton met Susan B Anthony This meeting had a profound influence on the future of the womens movement Together Stanton and Anthony founded the National Womens Suffrage Association in 1869 This association was one of the central forces in the movement for womens suffrage Sojourner Truth was
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