The 1800’s was a time when most women were dominated by men. Women were relegated to their duties at home and raising their families. Wives were the property of their husbands; and some were subjected to horrific treatment without any reprimand from the law. Women could not make any financial decisions, they couldn’t own property and they could not vote. However, there were some women who struggled for equal rights such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott
who questioned the established political and religious authority that consisted only of men. Equity law had a liberalizing effect upon the legal rights of women in the United States. In Mississippi in 1839, followed by New York in 1848 and Massachusetts in 1854, passed laws allowing married women to own property and to separate from their husbands. However, if they got a divorce, the husband kept legal control of both children and property Women’s History in America.
Changing Social conditions for women during the early 1800’s started to alter the way some women perceived their future; women began to receive more education and to take part in reform movements, which got them involved them in politics that led to the birth of the “women’s suffrage movement” that officially began with the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. The movement was “to protest the mistreatment of women in social, economic, political, and religious life” The Seneca Falls Convention 1848.
In 1868, the fourteenth amendment of the constitution was ratified so that women were given equal protection to men against unjust laws and in 1869, Wyoming was the first territory to allow women to vote.
Between 1880 and 1910 the number of women employed in the United States increased from 2.6 to 7.8 million The Library of Congress