Essay on The Civil War: A Women’s Time to Shine

1334 Words 6 Pages
The Civil War was a defining point for the United States. The people of America were forced to step back and reevaluate what defined the American Citizen: a person with the rights and privilege to cast a vote for what or who he believes in. The key word here is “he”. The Civil War brought freedom and rights to African Americans, yet it had no directly positive effect on women’s rights. While African Americans were seeing their lives and futures change, to many observers the women’s rights movement seemed barely impacted by the astounding transformations of the Civil War. This idea is not completely accurate. Women did not accomplish much on the legal front, but fundamentally they were able to make great achievements. By stepping out of …show more content…
Before the war, the first women’s rights movement took place in 1848. The meeting, known as the Seneca Falls Convention, is commonly accepted as the first step towards equality for women. This was the first step in a battle that would last over seventy years (Women’s Suffrage). The woman’s rights movement was greeted bitterly from all over the country, consuming newspapers with headline after headline, an editorial calling the movement: “the most shocking and unnatural incident ever recorded in the history of womanity” (Sigerman 36). The movement had just started to make an impact when the war broke out in 1861 which makes it easy to come to the conclusion that the vast amount of time between the start of the movement and the actually accomplishment of women’s rights means that the war had a detrimental effect on the movement. When one looks deeper, it becomes apparent that this is untrue. Although the civil war certainly took the focus off of women’s rights, it was the catalyst for great amounts of social change. Although the Fifteenth Amendment did not give women the right to vote, it raised awareness to the fact that women were being deprived of this privilege. Soujournor Truth, black woman’s rights and antislavery activist, felt the fifteenth amendment was unfair: “If colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you
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