Declaration Of Sentiments And Resolutions Analysis
The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 is marked as the official start of the suffrage movement in the United States. In a chapel holding roughly two hundred women, Elizabeth Cady Stanton makes a stance with her speech “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolution” (Burns). Stanton makes bold statements in this piece about inequality and the oppressment of women by a government where men solely held office and calls for radical change. Stanton’s choices in structure, rhetoric and tone make this piece a powerful spark in the suffrage movement.
First, Stanton’s choice of modeling her declaration after of the Declaration of Independence was extremely powerful. As opposed to …show more content…
Consequently, many were shocked that Stanton could interpret the work of Thomas Jefferson, one of America’s greatest thinkers, nonetheless have the audacity to alter his work. Furthermore, most of the population, men and women alike, had not even considered the possibility of women’s suffrage. According to historians, even Lucretia Mott Thomas, a suffragette who worked on the declaration with Stanton, was hesitant to include the right to vote (Burns).
Additionally, this choice is also symbolic. The Declaration of Independence was written by colonists in order to relinquish their freedom from the harsh rule of Brittan’s monarchy, so that they could be free to self-govern. By modeling her speech after this document, Stanton is thereby saying that women are freeing themselves from the oppressing rule of men and declaring their right to self govern.
Moreover, by using Thomas Jefferson’s logic, she is adding authority to her piece, as he is one of our countries most renowned thinkers. She also uses additional authority in her piece by citing Sir William Blackstone in paragraph 12, and uses his logic to strengthen her argument about how the law has repressed the happiness’s of …show more content…
She carefully describes each injustice with a dignified, yet dramatic tone to justify her later calls for change.
Subsequently, Stanton calls upon her upon her constituency for immediate action and lists some actions they planned to take to fight for their citizenship:
...We anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to affect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country (3)
This paragraph is powerful, as it calls out to women to fight for their rights despite anticipated opposition. This paragraph is also important, as it provides viable actions that can be taken in order to enact the change Stanton is calling for. Without an actual plan, the rest of the piece would not have as clear of a