Handout B: Two Declarations – Votes for Women
Read Handout A: Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions: The Seneca Falls Convention and Appendix E: The Declaration of Independence. Then analyze the passages shown below from the two declarations side-by-side. In the last column, identify similarities and/or differences for each section:
- For the Introduction and Preamble, items 1–5, use highlighting to identify differences in each section, and explain the reason or effect of the differences in the third column.
- For the Grievances section, items 6–11, identify similar themes between the passages compared.
Before you dive into the document, define the following:
Make a prediction:
What do the titles of each of these documents indicate about possible similarities and differences between the two?
|Declaration of Independence, 1776||Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, 1848||Reason or effect of the differences|
|When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them …they should declare the causes…||When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them … they should declare the causes…|
|We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,||We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.|
|that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government… to effect their Safety and Happiness.||Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government,…to effect their safety and happiness.|
|Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their forme Systems of Government.||Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.|
|The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct objec the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.||The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.|
|He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only…
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
|He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.
He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice…
|For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
|He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
|For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
|He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master—the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.
He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes… the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.
|He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.||After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single, and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.|
|Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.||Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of onehalf the people of this country, their social and religious degradation—in view of the unjust laws above mentioned… we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.|
|And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.||In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object.|